Ofcom to enable 5G improvements
September 28, 2023
By Colin Mann
UK comms regulator Ofcom has set out further detail on how and when it will make millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum across the 26 GHz and 40 GHz bands available for new mobile technology, including 5G services.
According to Ofcom, mmWave spectrum could deliver significant benefits to people and businesses in the UK. As well as improving mobile services – particularly in areas of high user density such as train stations, football stadiums and concerts – it could 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.
In 68 major towns and cities across the UK, Ofcom will award 15-year, fixed term citywide licences to use mmWave spectrum by auction. It will also assign more localised licences within these cities – and elsewhere in the UK where we expect deployments to be sparser – on a first come, first served basis, using its Shared Access licensing framework.
To avoid the risk of an inefficient allocation of spectrum, Ofcom decided to hold the auction after the CMA’s decision on the proposed merger between H3G and Vodafone. It plans to make Shared Access licences available in the 26 GHz band early in 2024.
Later in 202, Ofcom will publish a statement and further consultation on the design of the auction.