Ireland’s telecoms regulator ComReg has launched a spectrum tender for national point-to-point and point-to-multipoint licences to offer services in the 26GHz frequency band. Until now, the concessions covering this frequency were confined to a link-by-link or base station-by-base station basis, with the watchdog overseeing and ruling on exactly what spectrum was used in what location. The new system offers a distinct advantage in that operators will be able to access an entire block of spectrum, within which they have the ability to control their own frequency allocations to ensure optimum efficiency with minimal interference. ComReg is setting aside the national licences in recognition of the growing need for data and telecoms networks. The 26GHz band is suitable for a number of tasks including broadband backhaul provision and network connectivity between a mobile network core and its access nodes, or the end user.
The regulator has set down the general provisions of each concession:
• Each block comprises 2 × 28MHz of spectrum in the 26GHz band
• Licences will be for the provision of point-to-point (P2P) and point-to-multipoint (PMP) fixed links only
• A reserve price of EUR1 million has been placed on each of the licences on offer
• Each licence will be subject to an annual Wireless Telegraphy fee of EUR71,000 from the first renewal date.
ComReg added that if demand for the licences outstrips the number of concessions available, it will hold an auction in which applicants will be asked to submit bids in excess of the reserve price. Any one applicant cannot bid for more than six licences.