Spectrum above 6 GHz for future mobile communications

  • Start: 16 January 2015
  • Status: Closed
  • End: 27 February 2015

This document asks for stakeholder input on spectrum bands above 6 GHz that might be suitable for future mobile communication services, often referred to as 5G (the 5th generation of mobile services).

The exact nature of 5G is not yet defined, but to lay the foundations for its future introduction we need to understand how it might use spectrum. 5G is likely to provide much faster mobile broadband speeds than the current generation of mobile technology (4G), and the use of large blocks of spectrum is likely to be important to achieve the fastest speeds. Ofcom has already identified possible bands below 6 GHz for future mobile services, including 5G, as part our Mobile Data Strategy, but large blocks of spectrum are difficult to find at lower frequencies. Therefore higher frequency bands, e.g. above 6 GHz, are also likely to be important. However, those bands are already used by a wide range of services that benefit citizens and consumers.

This Call for Input will help us better understand the advantages and disadvantages of different bands above 6 GHz, taking account of other existing and potential users of that spectrum. The information provided will, along with our ongoing work on 5G and demand for other uses of spectrum, inform our strategy on bands above 6 GHz. This includes our input to international discussions on bands above 6 GHz that could be considered at the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC) in 2019.

Ofcom will publish a summary of the responses to this Call for Input and an update on next steps in Q2 2015.

Ofcom is working to enable future mobile services, including ‘5G’ - the fifth generation of mobile services, whilst taking account of other users of spectrum. 5G networks are expected to comprise a number of different elements, each with different spectrum requirements. Spectrum at frequencies both below and above 6 GHz is expected to be relevant.

This document provides an update on our 5G work considering bands above 6 GHz. It summarises the responses to the Call for Input (CFI) that we published in January, sets out our current views on bands and outlines next steps.

Having considered the responses to the CFI and other developments, we believe it is desirable to identify specific potential bands above 6 GHz to help focus an agenda item for the World Radio Communication Conference in 2019 (WRC-19) and to maximise the potential for international harmonisation of 5G spectrum.

We have therefore identified a preliminary set of bands in different parts of the 6 - 100 GHz range that we currently believe offer the best potential for use in the UK and harmonisation of 5G mobile services globally. This approach will also allow for the technical uncertainties present at this early stage in 5G development.

This does not guarantee that these bands will be adopted in the future and we do not rule out consideration of other options ahead of WRC-15, pending further developments and research.

We will now take forward the bands we have identified in forthcoming international discussions, including the relevant European preparatory meetings for WRC-15 at which the scope of a future WRC-19 agenda item on bands above 6 GHz will be considered.

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Responder name Type
EE_Response.pdf (PDF, 163.4 KB) Organisation
BT_response.pdf (PDF, 396.9 KB) Organisation
RSGB_Response.pdf (PDF, 126.1 KB) Organisation
MOD_Response.pdf (PDF, 85.0 KB) Organisation
ESOA_Response.pdf (PDF, 441.6 KB) Organisation