Fixed Terrestrial Links or Fixed Wireless Systems (FWS) refer to terrestrial based wireless systems, operating between two or more fixed points. Using mainly digital technologies, directional antennas and typically operating at very high levels of propagation availability fixed terrestrial links are used to provide network infrastructure and customer access applications across a wide range of frequency bands, currently ranging from 450MHz to 86GHz.
Please note our ongoing work on our mobile data strategy. Our strategy considers the challenges that rapidly growing demand for mobile data services could raise and what this may imply for Ofcom's work over the coming years. In particular, we identify and prioritise a number of spectrum bands where we are undertaking further work regarding their potential future availability for mobile data use, whilst recognising the many other competing demands for spectrum. Our statement was published in May 2014.
We updated our strategy in June 2016 (PDF, 363.4 KB) to take into account new developments such as developments in 5G technology.
In October 2017 we commenced the statutory process to propose revocation of fixed links licences in the 3.6 to 3.8 GHz band. Our update on the timing of spectrum availability (PDF, 367.6 KB) provides an update on the decisions we have taken as part of that process.
We have published a consultation document Improving consumer access to mobile services at 3.6 to 3.8 GHz. If you are considering applying to use the 3.6 GHz to 3.8 GHz band, please read Section 10 of this consultation document (PDF, 598.5 KB) for an explanation of how the availability of assignments in this band may change in the future and some interim measures applicable from the date of this consultation.
Following the publication of our Update on 5G spectrum in the UK (PDF, 2.9 MB), applicants for fixed link licences in the 26 GHz band are advised to take note that the 26 GHz band has been identified by the European Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) as a pioneer band in Europe (and wider) for 5G (RSPG Opinion on spectrum related aspects for next-generation wireless systems (5G)). The UK supports this action and is currently working in CEPT to respond to the recent European Mandate on the technical harmonisation measures for this band. As indicated in our 5G update Ofcom is planning to consult in the coming period on options to make some or all of this spectrum available for mobile. Applicants of fixed links are therefore advised to take this into account in any future applications for this band and where possible may wish to consider alternative fixed link bands to meet their requirements.
Fixed terrestrial microwave point to point links for wireless infrastructure and customer access applications.
Ofcom has today made new narrow channel options available within 2 X 14MHz of spectrum in the existing upper 6GHz frequency band. These new channels provide options where lower capacity connectivity is required and are available for assignment as part of Ofcom’s standard fixed link application and assignment approach. Further details of the channels available and technical conditions can be found in OFW446 (PDF, 1.4 MB).
Ofcom has opened additional spectrum in the 8 GHz band for assignment to fixed links as part of Ofcom’s standard application and assignment approach. This new spectrum, which forms part of the Public Sector Spectrum Release Programme, represents up to 2 x 84 MHz of duplex spectrum within the 7.9 to 8.4 GHz band on a shared/coordinated basis with the Ministry of Defence.
Further details of the channels available and technical conditions can be found in OfW 446: Technical Frequency Assignment Criteria for Fixed Point-to-Point Radio Services with Digital Modulation (PDF, 1.4 MB).
Ofcom has recently updated (increased) the number of channels available for assignment in the Ofcom co-ordinated part of the 70 / 80 GHz band. The update, which makes the full 2 x 2 GHz of spectrum available for assignment, allows for the additional channels to be automatically considered for all licence applications in line with our current assignment policy. Further details of the channels available can be found in OfW 446 (PDF, 1.4 MB).
Licensees of fixed links in the 1.4 GHz band are advised to note the adoption and publication of EU Decision 2018/661 harmonising the 1492 – 1517 MHz band for downlink-only wireless broadband use across the European Union. To start the process of implementing this EU Decision, Ofcom has:
Fixed terrestrial point to point analogue links providing infrastructure for CCTV systems.
If you would like to register multiple links, please complete our 70 – 80 GHz multiple link application data entry form (XLSX, 483.9 KB) and submit it along with an OfW 383 (sections A and G only).
70/80 GHz section of the Wireless Telegraphy Register (XLSX, 1.1 MB)
Updated 2 November 2020
Fixed terrestrial point to multipoint links for supervisory, control and data acquisition (SCADA) remote access applications.
OfW31 - Fixed Point-to-Point Radio Services with Analogue Modulation Operating in the Frequency Ranges 31.0 to 31.3 GHz paired with 31.5 to 31.8 GHz (PDF, 287.2 KB)
In this document all references to the Wireless Telegraphy Acts should be replaced by "The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006"
OfW 49 - Fixed Point-to-Point and Point-to- Multipoint Scanning Telemetry Radio Services with Analogue Modulation Operating in the Frequency Ranges 457.5 to 458.5 MHz paired with 463.0 to 464.0 MHz (PDF, 1.4 MB)
Antenna Reference Codes (XLS, 4.2 MB)
Equipment Reference Codes (XLS, 1019.0 KB)
OfW557 - Guidance for fixed link assignment requests in the 1.4 GHz band from 29 May 2015 - Mitigation measures to achieve compatibility between base stations in 1452-1452 MHz and fixed links in 1498.5-1517 MHz
(PDF, 422.9 KB)
When we are notified of a proposed windfarm, we will check to determine whether any part of that windfarm falls within 500 metres of the path between the terminals, or the terminals themselves, of any fixed link system operating above 1 GHz.
For scanning telemetry links, notifications will be forwarded on to CSS and JRC who will check whether any part of the windfarm falls within 1 kilometre of the path between the terminals, or the terminals themselves, of a fixed link system operating between 450 to 470 MHz.
If either check is positive, then we will inform the notifier that the windfarm proposer must liaise with the appropriate fixed link system operator(s).
In relation to fixed wireless links (above 1GHz) and scanning telemetry links, Ofcom currently offers a coordination service for windfarm developers and planning authorities:
Developers and planning authorities wishing to submit coordination requests should e-mail details of proposed wind turbine locations to:Spectrum.Licensing@ofcom.org.uk
Ofcom’s Fixed Wireless Services (FWS) team runs a number of industry groups, promoting the use of the spectrum and facilitating spectrum trading. They aid direct communication with industry, designing a forum to exchange knowledge, ideas and analyse new concepts. They help FWS achieve its main goal which is to balance many competing objectives such as maximising spectral efficiency, flexibility of use for users, market demands and more.
Ofcom and industry members are given the opportunity to discuss market issues together, exchange ideas and share feedback on current projects concerning the management of the fixed wireless spectrum.
Attendees benefit from gaining increased knowledge and understanding of industry issues. More specifically, they are used for improving services and products, building relationships and improving problem-solving.
The groups are valuable opportunities for Ofcom and industry members to interact with each other directly, develop a more thorough understanding of each others’ working methods and priorities. Ofcom find it increases customer confidence which helps to identify and discuss key issues and subsequently lead to developing mutually beneficial solutions.
The industry groups for FWS are:
Fixed Wireless Industry Liaison Forum (FWILF)
Fixed Wireless Technical Review Task Group (FWTRTG)
Working Parties (WP)
Fixed Service Task Group (FSTG)
The FWILF is the main forum. Usually meeting twice a year, it updates members on the latest developments in current technical and market issues and coordinates the events of the other groups. If you wish to gather an overview of recent developments to improve the spectrum efficiency for fixed wireless services, trading policies and general issues that will potentially affect the whole of the industry, than it is best to attend this forum.
FWTRTG is a sub-group of the FWILF. A smaller group, this discusses technical issues in detail. The group is used as a facilitator to report on the progress of technical projects being run by Ofcom and members of the FWILF.
These are small project teams that investigate specific issues raised in the FWILF whether technical or otherwise. They aim to derive possible solutions. The WP reports to the FWILF.
This is another sub-group of the FWILF which assembles the scientific community to explore and solve propagation and planning issues raised by industry members at the FWILF. The group offers a chance to discuss ideas and issues with members possessing in-depth technical knowledge and a high level of scientific radio expertise.
If you wish to find out more information about the Fixed Wireless Industry Liason Forum (FWILF) or one of its sub committees or would like to attend one of our meetings, please contact the industry secretary firstname.lastname@example.org and place ‘Industry Groups’ in the subject box, leaving your contact details and which group you are interested in.