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More Spectrum Opens for UK Ultrafast Fixed Wireless Connectivity

Thursday, November 8th, 2018 (4:40 pm) - Score 1,017
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Ofcom has today announced that they will be imminently releasing more radio spectrum in the licence exempt 57-71GHz bands, which they suggest could be used to help deliver fixed wireless broadband and 5G style connections at potentially “fibre-like speeds“.

Connections at these frequencies tend not to travel very far and are easily obstructed, although they’re still useful for things like short distance indoor home networking (e.g. the 802.11ad standard already makes use of the 60GHz band to deliver multi-Gigabit WiFi) and point-to-point wireless broadband connectivity (Microwave backhaul data capacity etc.).

The new regulations are due to be introduced from 27th November 2018 and mean that a continuous block of 14GHz of spectrum will now be available on a licence exempt basis.

The New Technical and Regulatory Changes

a) For short range wideband data transmission systems, the regulations:

* extend the current licence exemption and technical conditions (from 57 – 66 GHz) up to 71 GHz; and

* introduce new technical conditions to allow licence exempt use of lower power equipment operation in a fixed outdoor installation in the extended 57 – 71 GHz band.

b) For fixed wireless systems, the regulations:

* extend the current licence exemption (from 57.1 GHz – 63.9 GHz) up to 70.875 GHz, and by doing so change the current authorisation approach for fixed wireless systems operating in the 64 – 66 GHz band from light licence to licence exempt; and

* extend the current technical conditions (from 57.1 – 63.9 GHz) up to 70.875 GHz.

The regulator’s Spectrum Group Director, Philip Marnick, said: “By releasing new, licence-exempt airwaves, we’re underlining our commitment to enabling innovation. This spectrum will support new services such as faster data connections for homes and business, and very high-speed connections to support new applications.”

The spectrum being made available is more than is currently available for the services we all use every day – mobile, radio, TV and satellite TV and wifi technology, and could play an important part in the development of new services including 5G, that will benefit consumers and businesses.”

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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2 Responses
  1. Simon

    This is good – “connections at potentially “fibre-like speeds“.”

    A few small outfits are already doing 500Mbps and even 1Gbps – so this helps them that’s great. – seems easier to build their kit than say a land based provider like HO or GC

  2. chris

    To get 1Gbps over FWA would of needed a licence, this will cut costs massively.

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