July 4, 2022
Ofcom notes that there is a major global policy debate around the long-term future of the upper 6 GHz band (6425-7125 MHz). Several countries have already made it available for licence-exempt use including Wi-Fi, and it is also on the agenda of the next World Radiocommunications Conference for potential use by high power mobile technology including 5G. Industry interest is split between these two future uses.
Separately, in February 2022, Ofcom published a consultation proposing to add the band (6425-7070 MHz) to Ofcom’s Shared Access licensing framework for low-power, indoor use, as an interim step to enable access to the band while further work to establish its long-term future is being done. In light of consultation responses, lack of evidence of demand and the wider discussions surrounding the upper 6 GHz band, Ofcom has decided not to proceed with its proposals to add the band to the Shared Access licensing framework at present.
Ofcom says that it will focus on continuing to assess whether high power licensed mobile or licence exemption could be a suitable use of the band and analysing the impact of each use on incumbent users. Ofcom will feed into international work and discussions, including preparations for WRC-23. To access Ofcom’s full statement, click here.