Ofcom consults on 5G spectrum licence changes

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UK comms regulator Ofcom is consulting on a request from the UK’s main mobile network operators to make technical changes to their spectrum licences, to help support the rollout of ultrafast mobile services.

EE, Hutchison, Telefónica and Vodafone have asked Ofcom to vary their licences in the 3.4 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands. These are important bands for future 5G services.

Making these changes will bring the licences in line with a recent European Union decision on the technical conditions that apply to spectrum in these bands.

Varying the licences to align with the decision would allow operators to deploy Active Antenna Systems (AAS). AAS can help deliver higher-quality mobile services in busy areas, by increasing network capacity and allowing spectrum to be transmitted to people’s devices more directly, so they get a stronger signal.

Ofcom is currently minded to accept the mobile operators’ request, which it believes will help support the rollout of 5G services, but is consulting on the changes and in particular seeking comments on the technical conditions.

The consultation closes on May 19th 2019.


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