Insights Ofcom invites views on its proposals to protect passive services at 23.6-24 GHz from future 26 GHz uses

Ofcom is today inviting views on its proposals to protect radio astronomy and Earth exploration satellite services operating at 24 GHz from out-of-band emissions that might be generated from future wireless broadband services using the adjacent 26 GHz band.

Ofcom explains that services that operate in the 24 GHz band are important for taking scientific measurements to enable new discoveries in space, as well as measuring changes in the Earth’s surface and atmosphere to help predict the weather and better understand climate change. But they could be susceptible to out-of-band emissions from the nearby 26 GHz band, which Ofcom is preparing to authorise to support future wireless broadband services, including 5G.

To mitigate this, Ofcom is proposing to:

  • limit the number of outdoor base stations deployed in any 300 km squared area in the lowest 800 MHz of the 26 GHz band (24.25-25.05 GHz); and
  • apply exclusion zones around six UK radio astronomy sites where 26 GHz base stations cannot be deployed outdoors.

For indoor 26 GHz use, Ofcom’s provisional view is that additional measures are not required. Therefore, it proposes to remove the existing exclusion zones around the radio astronomy sites at Jodrell Bank and Cambridge from the current 26 GHz indoor shared access licence product.

Ofcom is inviting comments on its proposals by 5pm on 24 February 2022. To access the proposals, click here.