techUK Responds to Ofcom's Call for Input on 5G Spectrum Access at 26 GHz

techUK responded to Ofcom's Call for Inputs on making spectrum in the 26 GHz band available for 5G wireless networks, which also set out Ofcom's current thinking on which other bands will be prioritised for 5G.

techUK supports Ofcom’s prioritisation of the 24.25-27.5 GHz (26 GHz) band in relation to millimetre wave spectrum for 5G, its intent to support international harmonisation in the band for such services, and its timely availability for use in the UK. We note that equipment is already being standardised, chipsets are foreseen in 2018/ 19, with equipment availability anticipated by 2020 to enable services thereafter.

techUK is supportive of the work of the UK Spectrum Policy Forum (SPF) on 5G spectrum and in relation to the 26GHz band endorses the views of the SPF. In particular the desirability of avoiding any unnecessary complexity and including availability of national licences to facilitate investment in networks at scale.

In addition to the 26 GHz, compatibility and sharing studies with other systems in the following bands, identified by WRC-15 for future wireless broadband usage (including 5G), will be considered at the European level:

  • 31.8-33.4 GHz
  • 37-43.5 GHz
  • 45.5-50.2 GHz
  • 50.4-52.6 GHz
  • 66-76 GHz
  • 81-86 GHz

The current usage of these bands and initial prioritisation for study were the subject of a recent ECC PT1 questionnaire.

Satellite focussed techUK members while supportive of 5G related services in the 26 GHz band believe however that there should be continued access for satellite services (FSS + EESS). As discussed below, given that 5G coverage in the band is unlikely to be contiguous across the country this should be practicable.

The FULL techUK response is available to download below (techUK member-only access)

More information is available on techUK's Communications Infrastructure Programme.

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