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Recommendations for the future use of Licence Exempt Radio Spectrum

UK Spectrum Policy Forum, the industry-led sounding board to Government and Ofcom, presents three recommendations following the launch of the SPF report 'Future use of Licence Exempt Radio Spectrum'

This report from Plum Consulting presents the findings of a study commissioned by the UK Spectrum Policy Forum to assess the current and future use of frequency bands which may be used by licence exempt wireless applications in the UK and Europe. Its main purpose was to identify any actions that may need to be taken to maintain the economic value of licence exempt bands and to ensure equitable co-existence between new and existing licence exempt technologies and applications.

From the key findings presented in the report, the UK Spectrum Policy Forum presents three recommendations for the future use of Licence Exempt Radio Spectrum: 

  • The SPF recommends that the UK promotes further international harmonisation of licence exempt bands, in particular the recently identified 870 –876 MHz and 915 –921 MHz band that are likely to be critical for supporting future M2M demand growth in Europe. This may require actions principally in the ITU and CEPT by Ofcom on behalf of Government. The European Commission may also be able to assist. Interested UK industry players and European industry associations can play a key role in championing harmonisation.
  • The SPF recommends that the UK seeks to maximise spectrum availability for wireless access systems, in particular encouraging European administrations to work alongside counterparts in other regions (such as the US and Asia Pacific) with a view to reaching workable co-existence solutions for expansion of the 5 GHz band in time for the 2019 World Radio Conference (WRC-19). This may require actions principally in EC RSCOM, ITU and CEPT by Ofcom on behalf of Government and with support of interested UK industry players.
  • The SPF recommends that the UK seeks to improve spectrum efficiency and technology co-existence in existing licence exempt bands, notably by applying more stringent receiver performance requirements that reflect the quality of service requirements of specific applications and seeking to phase out legacy technologies that do not incorporate suitable interference mitigation mechanisms. In the longer term, automated on-line registration of Internet-connected devices could be considered to facilitate market surveillance and simplify the process of removing legacy equipment, which can sometimes hinder the introduction of new technologies or applications in licence exempt bands. This may require actions principally in CEPT and ETSI by Ofcom on behalf of Government and with support of interested UK industry players.

These recommendations were agreed at the Plenary meeting held on Tuesday 14th July 2015.

 

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