Ireland’s Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has published a consultation regarding the distribution of spectrum in the 26GHz band, which is expected to come into play as telecoms operators work towards the deployment of 5G technology. However, the watchdog has cautioned that the new 26GHz National Block Licences will be restricted to point-to-point (P2P) links, and licensees will not be permitted to offer mobile services using the spectrum, citing the current absence of a 5G technical standard, and the lack of availability of 5G-enabled equipment in the 26GHz band.
While acknowledging that ‘the 26 GHz band is one of a number of candidate bands for the early deployment of what is now known as ‘5G’ technology in Europe,’ ComReg says that it ‘does not have any certainty on which bands will eventually be designated for 5G,’ and will continue to restrict the band’s use. The existing 26GHz licences – allocated in 2008 – are due to expire on 5 June 2018. Going forward, ComReg intends to distribute 19 2×28MHz blocks within the 24.745GHz–25.277GHz/25.753GHz–26.285GHz range.