Thursday, January 13, 2005

OFCOM is at it again

UK mega-super-dooper regulator OFCOM certainly lives by the credo that idle hands are the devil's workshop. Today it has issued two new consultations on UWB and spectrum management. The latter identifies eight blocks of spectrum proposed for allocation. It's interesting to note that the DECT/GSM guard band has been approved, representing a win for the community networking groups in the UK who have been lobbying on this issue. It's also interesting to ponder whether some of the 470 - 845MHz analogue television frequencies might end up seeing use in 802.22 development for the UK. Here's a list of the frequencies, copped directly from the OFCOM press release:

410-425 MHz, 870-921 MHz (part only) (available for award from2005-2006) - Available as a result of licensee insolvency, these bands could be usedfor radio services for businesses, additional capacity for the emergency services and programme making.

1452-1492 MHz ('L band', available from 2006-2007) - Possible uses include broadcast multimedia, new mobile applications and digital radio.

1781.7-1785 MHz paired with 1876.7-1880 MHz ('DECT guard bands', available from 2005-2006). Previously reserved as a buffer between 2G mobile and cordless telephone (DECT) frequencies. Possible uses include innovative, low-power GSM applications.

1790-1798 MHz (available from 2007-2008) - Presently used by the emergency services but additional capacity may become available by 2007-08. Possible uses include wireless broadband applications.

2010-2025 MHz and 2290-2302 MHz (available from 2005-2006) - 2010-2025 MHz was reserved for IMT-2000 (3G) systems (but is unused) and the 2290-2302 MHz band was recently returned to Ofcom by the MoD. Could be used for next generation mobile applications or wireless broadband.

2500-2690 MHz (available from 2006-2007) - Presently used by programme makers for outside broadcasts. Possible future uses include next generation mobile applications and wireless broadband

10 GHz, 28 GHz, 32 GHz, 40 GHz (available at varying times, from2006-2008) - Significant amounts of additional capacity for a range of new services.Includes licences not assigned in the previous auction of 28GHz frequencies.

The document also discusses three other bands, on which further work is required before identifying a date for release:

174 - 230 MHz (part only) ('Band III') Ofcom has proposed additional awards in its separate review of the radio industry, published on 16 December 2004.

470-854 MHz ('digital switchover spectrum') Currently used for analogue television but new options for use will emerge with the transition to digital broadcasting. 112 MHz of spectrum could become available. Proposals dependent upon international negotiations at the Regional Radio Conference in 2006.

3.6-4.2 GHz Presently used for high speed fixed links, satellite services, and fixed wireless access. Subject to further work on sharing issues, additional capacity may be available for further terrestrial applications.

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