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Ofcom To Open Wireless Spectrum

Posted: 24th May, 2006 By: MarkJ
Ofcom has today proposed that the 71-76GHz and 81-86GHz radio spectrum bands be opened up for use by fixed broadband wireless services:

At present these spectrum bands are not in commercial use. However, new technology offers the possibility of new applications for these higher frequency bands.

These applications could include very high capacity, point to point wireless networks, which could potentially be used as alternatives to fibre optic cable. Possible data speeds range from 1Gb per second to 10Gb per second over distances of 1-2 km. In comparison, copper loops typically enable connection speeds of between 1 and 24 Mbps.

Section 3(2) of the Communications Act 2003 requires Ofcom to secure the optimal use of the spectrum and Section 154 of the Act requires Ofcom to have regard to the extent to which the spectrum is available for use.

Light licensing process

Ofcom proposes to adopt a flexible, light licensing approach to making this spectrum available.

Ofcom is proposing that the band should be licensed on a first come, first served basis, rather than auctioned, as the band’s unusual properties – high bandwidth, narrow beam – mean that a very large number of users could co-exist without interference. Demand for the spectrum is therefore very unlikely to exceed supply.

The consultation runs until 2 August 2006.

Good news.
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