Statement and further consultation: Supporting increased use of shared spectrum

Published: 24 July 2024
Consultation closes: 18 September 2024
Status: Open
Last updated: 24 July 2024

Ofcom has today set out improvements to its Shared Access framework – which enables spectrum to be shared in local areas – to support growth and innovation, and give access to more users.

The Shared Access framework, launched in 2019, covers a range of spectrum frequencies, with different power levels and bandwidth available for a wide range of uses. For example, over the past few years the framework has enabled private networks for ports, high-speed broadband in rural communities, and was used for broadcasting the King’s Coronation.

In November 2023, we consulted on enhancing the framework and have today published our decisions on those proposals. We have today decided to:  

  • reduce separation distances between users in the 3.8-4.2 GHz spectrum band, improving the availability of spectrum across the UK; 
  • liberalise our rules for sharing to support new use cases, including an increase in the maximum power limit of our ‘Low Power’ product in 3.8-4.2 GHz by 3 dB;
  • add new spectrum at 2320-2340 MHz to the framework, which will be available for Low Power indoor use; and
  • improve the application experience for users, including a simpler route to requesting an exception.

We aim to have implemented the majority of these changes by Q4 2024.  

To support greater use of the framework, we are also today proposing to: 

  • provide more freedom to operate at Medium Power use in the 1800 MHz and 3.8-4.2 GHz band in urban areas (except Greater London) without the need to apply for an exception;
  • encourage efficient use through a new price for Medium Power deployments in urban areas that is twice the cost of Low Power ones; and
  • enable new business models by removing the terminal registration requirement for mobile terminals connected to Low Power outdoor base stations in the 3.8-4.2 GHz band.

Our consultation on today’s proposals will close on 18th September 2024 and we will publish our decisions as soon as possible thereafter.  

Responding to this consultation

Please submit further consultation responses using the response form.

On 23 November 2023 Ofcom published a consultation titled ‘Supporting increased use of shared spectrum.’ In that document, we said we were considering revising our fees for Shared Access licenses in the 3.8-4.2 GHz band.

Since publication of that document, it has come to our attention that there were errors in 'Table 5.3: Comparison of modelled sterilisation areas for a sample of hypothetical Low vs. Medium Power urban deployments’. These errors have been corrected in the Shared Access Correction document below.

Contact information

Address

Jack Hindley
Ofcom
Riverside House
2A Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA

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