UK SPF Report: Flexible Spectrum Access Methods

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    Thursday19Oct 2017
    techUK Reports

    This report for the UK Spectrum Policy Forum, by Plum Consulting, considers flexible spectrum access methods for 5G systems and other scenarios.

Plum Consulting - Flexible Spectrum Access MechanismsThis report for the UK Spectrum Policy Forum, by Plum Consulting, considers flexible spectrum access methods for 5G systems and other scenarios.

As the UK moves into a period of intensifying and diverse uses of connectivity - from broadband to smart city, intelligent transport, automotive, distributed manufacturing and medical applications – the availability of efficient access mechanisms for wireless connectivity (radio spectrum) are critical.

Flexible access and spectrum sharing were key features of Government’s UK Spectrum Strategy, as potential enablers to enhance the value delivered to the UK from the use of radio spectrum. It was also part of Ofcom’s spectrum management strategy and framework for spectrum sharing. More recently these techniques have been discussed as a feature for access to spectrum for 5G systems.

Plum Consulting’s approach to the study was to consider several scenarios. The scenarios are examples of possible spectrum requirements that could arise, which were divided into cellular (with emphasis on the initiatives within 5G), Wi-Fi and then all other areas. Some of the scenarios highlight specific issues such as in building access, which are likely to become more important looking forward. The analysis leads to several recommendations, which are put forward for consideration by the SPF Steering Board and will be discussed at the 19 October SPF Plenary meeting.

This report builds on previous work in this area including two reports developed for the Spectrum Policy Forum on future use of licence exempt spectrum and licensed shared access. The work was commissioned through an open tender process according to the SPF procurement procedures and was developed through consultation with sector stakeholders.


Launched at the request of Government, the UK Spectrum Policy Forum (@UK_SPF) is the industry sounding board to Government and Ofcom on future spectrum management and regulatory policy with a view to maximising the benefits of spectrum for the UK. The Forum is open to all organisations with an interest in using spectrum and already has over 150 member organisations. A Steering Board performs the important function of ensuring the proper prioritisation and resourcing of our work.

Flexible spectrum access report to SPF (pdf)

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