Consultation: Expanding spectrum access for satellite gateways in the 28 GHz band
- Start: 18 August 2023
- Status: Closed
- End: 29 September 2023
Space based connectivity is increasingly important for UK consumers and businesses, with an ever-growing number of satellite operators offering a range of services. Delivery of these services relies on radio spectrum. Satellite gateways are hubs that connect the satellite network to the internet and/or to private networks and cloud services and typically use 27.5 – 30 GHz (“28 GHz band”) spectrum for the uplink (Earth-to-space) transmission. In the UK, these frequencies are accessed via a combination of Ofcom assigned satellite authorisations and commercial arrangements with 28 GHz Spectrum Access licence holders.
In March 2023, we agreed to vary the national 28 GHz Spectrum Access licence held by Arqiva at its request, to limit the scope of its licence to only authorise use of this spectrum at three locations until July 2026. This resulted in the return to Ofcom of 448 MHz of spectrum, available across almost all the UK (“unassigned spectrum”), for reauthorisation.
This consultation sets out proposals for making the unassigned spectrum and the four “guard bands” in the 28 GHz spectrum available for Non-geostationary satellite (NGSO) Earth station gateways and Geostationary satellite (GSO) gateways (Permanent Earth stations - PES).