Insights Ofcom publishes new Spectrum Sharing Framework and Call for Input on enhanced spectrum sharing in the 3.8 GHz to 4.2 GHz band.

Ofcom says that sharing is becoming increasingly important as demand for spectrum access increases.  By facilitating innovation and more use within the same spectrum, increased spectrum sharing can bring about benefits to consumers, Ofcom says.

The new framework sets out Ofcom’s approach when opportunities for sharing arise and:

  • identifies the barriers to sharing;
  • explains how regulation, new technology and changes in the market might facilitate further sharing; and
  • sets out how Ofcom will consider sharing on a case-by-case basis, taking into account any existing and proposed new uses.

The framework also identifies the availability of information about spectrum usage as a critical component for further spectrum sharing.

Ofcom already makes information available in a searchable format on its website through the Wireless Telegraphy Register (WTR).  To improve this data’s potential value for stakeholders, Ofcom has also decided to provide it in open-data format.

Ofcom has also published a Call for Input to gauge interest and assess the potential for enabling greater spectrum sharing in the 3.8 GHz to 4.2 GHz band.  This band could potentially support innovative high capacity applications and services.

The 3.8 GHz to 4.2 GHz band is currently used by satellite earth stations, fixed links, and by the wireless data provider UK Broadband.

The closing date for responses to the Call for Input is 9 June 2016.  To access the Spectrum Sharing Framework, click here.  To access the Call for Inputs, click here.