Restriction on satellite earth station applications in the 28GHz band to continue until end September 2002
Press Release - 30 July 2001
On 19th July 2001 Douglas Alexander, the Minister for e-commerce and competitiveness, announced arrangements for awarding the 26 Broadband Fixed Wireless Access (BFWA) licences which remained unsold at the conclusion of the BFWA auction in November 2000. This award process is likely to begin in September 2001 and continue until the end of September 2002.
The existing restriction on national co-ordination considerations, originally announced in October 2000, will now continue until the conclusion of the BFWA award process.
In considering international requests for the co-ordination of satellite earth stations from other administrations, in the frequency ranges 28.000GHz to 28.500GHz and 29.000GHz to 29.500GHz, the Agency will take account of potential and established terrestrial Broadband Fixed Wireless Access assignments.
Arrangements for UK dependant territories (including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) for which the UK has responsibility within the international radiocommunications regime are set out in RA document RA301.
In the case of applications to co-ordinate satellite earth stations for communications to satellite networks, where all ITU regulatory provisions have been met, access to the remaining portions of the 28GHz band will be considered in the normal manner.
On 25th October 2000 the Radiocommunications Agency announced (www.radio.gov.uk/publication/press/2000/25oct00.htm) that, for the period from that date until 31March 2001, it would not accept any national applications for satellite earth stations operating in the 28GHz band (the frequency ranges 28.000GHz to 28.500GHz and 29.000GHz to 29.500GHz). Also, for the same time period, similar restrictions would apply to international requests from other administrations for the co-ordination of satellite earth stations within the same frequency ranges.
This arrangement was introduced because the Agency was about to embark on the auction of terrestrial Broadband Fixed Wireless Access in the 28GHz band. This band is also available in the UK for co-ordinateable satellite system, earth stations.
The lifting of the restriction on co-ordination considerations, planned for 1st April 2001, was subject to the resolution of any unforeseen outstanding issues preventing the granting of BFWA licences. The auction was completed on 20 November 2000, but 26 of the 42 licences on offer remained unsold. As a result, the restriction on national co-ordination considerations was not lifted.
1. The Radiocommunications Agency is an Executive Agency of the Department of Trade and Industry and its main functions are:
Formulating policy on the planning and management of the UK civil radio spectrum;
Co-ordinating UK views and participating in international negotiations on the use of radio;
Authorising use of radio by licensing or exemption; · Formulating technical and operating standards for radio;
Enforcement of legislation on the use of radio equipment and investigation of radio interference.
2. International radio spectrum allocations are detailed in the ITU Radio Regulations and have International Treaty status.
3. The frequency band 27.5-29.5GHz is allocated in the Radio Regulations to both the Fixed Service and the Fixed Satellite Service (earth to space direction). Sharing of the spectrum between these two services is based upon the status of the allocations and agreed national and international technical or regulatory procedures.
4. So far as international allocations are concerned, Broadband Fixed Wireless Access (BFWA) is defined as being within the Fixed Service. The licences subject to the award process cover the entire UK in a number of regions each containing three separate licences.
5. Co-ordination procedures will require the participation of both the satellite earth station operators and the final licence holders for BFWA. BFWA licence holders will be named as the award process progresses.
6. The Information Memorandum for the BFWA 28GHz band auction held in November 2000 can be downloaded from the Radiocommunications Agency website at www.radio.gov.uk. A further Information Memorandum for the second award process will be published in September 2001.
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