Ofcom has published a consultation proposing to add the upper six gigahertz band (6425-7070 megahertz) to its shared access licence framework for low-power, indoor use.

The framework enables shared use of spectrum, which Ofcom says makes it easier for people and businesses to access it for a wide range of local wireless applications. In the case of the six gigahertz band, Ofcom believes that such licences could be particularly suitable for industrial, business and research uses.

Under Ofcom's proposals, licences would cover the full band for an area within a 50 metre radius of a central point, and use would be limited to indoor-only, with a maximum power limit of 250 megawatt effective isotropic radiated power. Potential users could apply for multiple licences to cover a larger indoor area. Such applications would be considered on a case-by-case basis. Each licence would be subject to an annual fee of £320 and would be for an indefinite term, with Ofcom reserving the right to revoke licences for spectrum management purposes.

The use of the upper six gigahertz band for licence-exempt consumer Wi-Fi or for licensed 5G mobile networks is out of scope of the consultation, as technical compatibility work is still ongoing to establish whether and how these technologies could share the band with each other or other services. Ofcom says that the proposal will not diminish its ability to authorise either of these in the future, if it decides to do so.

The consultation closes on 11 April 2022. Ofcom intends to reach a final decision later in 2022.

For further information on this topic please contact Gordon Moir at Wiggin by telephone (+44 20 7612 9612) or email ([email protected]). The Wiggin website can be accessed at www.wiggin.co.uk.