Ofcom to consult on shared spectrum for indoor use, DCMS sets sights on planning regime
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
Mansoor Hanif, Ofcom's CTO, discussing the regulator's approach to shared spectrum at CWIC2019

Ofcom will announce the outcome of its recent consultation on the possible release of spectrum in a range of bands for shared use ("Enabling Opportunities for Innovation") “within weeks” and will also be launching a consultation on the release of 2.25GHz of spectrum (24.25-26.5GHz) for indoor use.

Speaking at the CW International Conference (CWIC) in Cambridge yesterday (26 June), Mansoor Hanif, Ofcom’s CTO, highlighted the “disruptive” potential inherent in a shared approach to the use of the 3.8-4.2GHz band, which is “prime 5G spectrum” and “has been allocated to 5G networks in Japan” – implying that device support should be available. This band is one of the three which Ofcom has already consulted on and Hanif says that a decision on its use will be made in “weeks, not months”.

“If we go ahead with this decision,” he added, “our proposal is to offer this up for local licencing at a price of around £80, which is an administrative fee, for 10MHz – local licences can be as small as 50m2…”

At the same event, Melissa Giordano, deputy director, mobile infrastructure & spectrum, Digital Infrastructure Directorate, DCMS (pictured below, centre) said: “The government will very shortly be consulting on proposals to reform the planning regime in England… We’re going to consult on ideas around making it a little bit easier to deploy new network infrastructure and installing new equipment. That will help build some of our 4G and 5G future…”

The Ofcom "Enabling Opportunities for Innovation" consultation document can be viewed here.

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