Ofcom opens up mmWave spectrum
March 13, 2023
By Colin Mann
UK comms regulator Ofcom is to make millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum across the 26 GHz and 40 GHz bands available for new mobile technology, including 5G services.
This could deliver significant benefits by enabling large wireless data capacity and speeds. It can be used to improve mobile services and deliver innovative new services across the UK.
It will be particularly beneficial in locations and venues with a lot of mobile users, such as train stations, football stadiums and concerts, where demands on current networks mean mobile data speeds can be sluggish.
As well as mobile services, mmWave spectrum could, in future, also support innovative wireless applications requiring large amounts of data, very high speeds, or both. Early indications suggest this could include applications such as virtual reality, factory automation, and intelligent transport systems such as driverless cars.
Ofcom expects that new uses of mmWave spectrum will be mostly concentrated in areas with high levels of data traffic such as towns and cities. Ofcom will award citywide licences to use mmWave spectrum by auction and assign licenses for more localised licences on a first come, first served basis, using our Shared Access licensing framework.
Ofcom is now consulting on proposals for the design of the auction for citywide licences, the licence conditions for citywide and local mmWave licences, and how it will coordinate users of this spectrum.
It is inviting responses to the consultation by May 22nd, 2023.