British telecoms regulator Ofcom has published a document setting out its decisions and forward plan for spectrum used by fixed-wireless links covering the next five-year period. Ofcom said the move follows what it termed ‘extensive engagement and consultation with stakeholders’. According to the regulator, its assessment of how the use of fixed-wireless links is likely to evolve over the next five years was based on a number of factors, including: technological developments, international developments, and the changing requirements of competing uses of the spectrum.
Among its findings, Ofcom noted that over the next five years it expects greater focus and take up in the 60GHz/65GHz bands, as well as continued growth in 70GHz/80GHz, while it also said there is likely to be ‘strong interest’ in complementing these bands with higher-capacity spectrum above 92GHz. As such, the watchdog is taking immediate steps to make changes to the regulatory regime in the 57GHz–66GHz range, as well as making new spectrum available at 66GHz–71GHz.
Pursuant to the above, Ofcom has launched a consultation on implementing its decisions related to the 57GHz-71GHz band. Its proposed new regulations look set to amend the existing technical conditions for the band, while also extending the current licence exemption conditions for short range devices and fixed wireless systems. A deadline of 6 August 2018 has been set for submissions to this consultation.