Ofcom consults on proposals to update the technical conditions of 800MHz licences

14 Jul 2021

British telecoms regulator Ofcom has said that, following its award of 700MHz band spectrum via auction back in March 2021, it is now considering making changes to 800MHz frequency licences with a view to enabling mobile network operators (MNOs) to improve network coverage and increase capacity.

As per the watchdog’s proposals, the permitted power output for the equipment MNOs use in the 800MHz band would be increased, bringing it in line with the conditions in place for the recently awarded 700MHz band. Further, Ofcom confirmed that power limits for 800MHz licences would also be measured per antenna rather than per each individual piece of radio equipment. Measures are, however, being proposed to ensure that operators avoid interference with other nearby spectrum users, such as the airwaves used for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).

Meanwhile, to help facilitate equipment manufacturers’ making of equipment that is capable of using both the 700MHz and 800MHz bands, Ofcom is proposing to amend some out of band and out of block limits. According to the regulator, this is to align more closely the limits with the conditions set out in the country’s 700MHz licences and with the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) mask for the 800MHz band.

Comments on the proposals are being accepted until 7 September 2021.

United Kingdom, Ofcom