Fixed terrestrial links

Published: 5 March 2024
Last updated: 4 July 2024

Fixed terrestrial links, or fixed wireless systems (FWS), are terrestrial based wireless systems that operate between two or more fixed points.

They are used to provide network infrastructure and customer access applications across a wide range of frequency bands, currently ranging from 450 MHz to 86 GHz.

We are no longer accepting new applications for fixed link licences in the 26 GHz band. We are also not accepting any new technical variation applications for existing licences in the band.

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.

Update: 2 February 2018

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.

Update: 5 April 2017

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.

Update: 6 October 2016

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.

Fixed terrestrial microwave point to point links for wireless infrastructure and customer access applications.

OfW 85: Point to point fixed link licence application form (PDF, 1.4 MB)

Update 5 March 2021: 1492 – 1517 MHz band

EU Decision 2018/661, along with Regulation 4 of the 1452-1492 MHz and 3400-3800 MHz Frequency Bands (Management) Regulations 2016/495 (as amended), harmonise the 1492 – 1517 MHz band for downlink-only wireless broadband across the European Union and the UK. Following the adoption of these regulations and to start the process of making this spectrum available for mobile systems Ofcom has:

  • closed the 1498.5 – 1517 MHz and the 1356.5 – 1375 MHz band to new fixed wireless link applications and technical variations on 5 January 2019 as indicated in our fixed wireless services review statement;
  • written to all licensees who hold 1.4 GHz fixed link licences in the 1492 – 1517 MHz band to notify them of Ofcom’s final decision to revoke all 1.4 GHz fixed link licence(s) in the 1492 – 1517 MHz band as well as the 1350 – 1375 MHz sub-band.

Update 5 February 2020: Narrow channels in the upper 6GHz band

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).

Update 9 December 2019: New 8 GHz band available for fixed link assignment

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).

See our guidance for 8 GHz applicants (PDF, 300.1 KB).

Update 2 September 2019: 70/80 GHz band

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).

Update 27 November 2018: 64-66 GHz

As indicated in our fixed wireless services review statement, we have decided to change the authorisation in this band to licence exempt under new technical decisions (which are set out in updated Interface Requirements, IR 2030 and IR 2078). To implement this decision, we have made new regulations which came into force on 27 November 2018. Equipment complying with the new technical conditions will no longer require a licence to operate in the 64 - 66 GHz band.

Fixed terrestrial millimetre-wave point to point links, typically for short hop high capacity wireless access and infrastructure networks.

The 73.375 – 75.875 GHz and 83.375 – 85.875 GHz band is available in the UK under a light licensed process for point to point fixed wireless applications

At the present time the band is being administered under interim licensing and link registration processes. The interim procedures which consist of mainly manual procedures will be in place until Ofcom announces the permanent procedures for this band which are intended to be via a web based tool.

OfW368 - Application form for a Self Co-ordinated Links Licence (PDF, 413.9 KB)

OfW 383: Form for Link Registration in the 73.375 – 75.875 GHz and 83.375 – 85.875 GHz bands
(PDF, 195.5 KB)

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, 1.4 MB)
Updated 4 July 2024

Fixed terrestrial point to multipoint links for supervisory, control and data acquisition (SCADA) remote access applications.

Scanning Telemetry Link Licence Application Form (PDF, 177.4 KB)

Fees information


Spectrum trading

Our Spectrum Trading Desk is the first point of contact for more detailed information and clarification on spectrum trading, or if you would like to conduct a trade.  The Desk can be contacted by:

post: Spectrum Trading Desk, Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA

email: spectrum.tradingdesk@ofcom.org.uk

telephone: 020 7981 3083

fax: 020 7981 3052


Trading guidance notes (PDF, 668.3 KB)


Application for Spectrum Trading (Lease) (OfW512) (PDF, 220.7 KB)

Application for Spectrum Trading (OfW206)  (PDF, 211.8 KB)

Application for Spectrum Trading (Outright Transfer) (OfW437)  (PDF, 209.1 KB)

Due diligence form (PDF, 235.6 KB)

Technical Frequency Assignment Criteria

OfW446 - Technical Frequency Assignment Criteria for Fixed Point-to-Point Radio Services with Digital Modulation (PDF, 1.4 MB)

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)


Equipment and Antenna Reference Codes

Guidance on Equipment and Antenna Reference Codes (PDF, 41.0 KB)

Antenna Reference Codes (XLSX, 1.7 MB)
Updated 12 March 2024

Equipment Reference Codes (XLSX, 406.1 KB)
Updated 12 March 2024


Interface requirements

IR 2000 Point-to-Point Fixed Wireless Systems Operating in Fixed Service Frequency Bands Administered by Ofcom
(PDF, 207.6 KB)

IR 2078 - Fixed Wireless Systems in the 57.1 - 70.875 GHz band
(PDF, 184.4 KB)


Other technical information

OfW48 UK Frequency Allocations for Fixed (Point-to-Point) Wireless Services and Scanning Telemetry
(PDF, 439.0 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)

Rain-rate map used by Ofcom in fixed link frequency assignment procedures (MAP, 354.2 KB)

Opening of 8 GHz for civil users: Guidance for applicants (PDF, 300.1 KB)

Please note that Ofcom no longer provides a dedicated windfarm co-ordination facility.

Instead, stakeholders can now access Ofcom licence information via  the Ofcom Spectrum Information System (SIS). The SIS includes licence data for UK fixed links that are assigned and co-ordinated by Ofcom.

When using the SIS it should be noted that, there are a number of frequency bands that are now authorised on a block basis i.e. these bands are managed and assigned by the licensees themselves and the individual link information for these bands (where a band is being used for fixed links) is not held in Ofcom’s licensing and assignment database nor published on the SIS. Our website has further information on these bands and the licensees details.

In addition Scanning Telemetry links, used by the utilities and other services (operating in the bands 457.5 – 458.5 MHz & 463 – 464 MHz), are managed externally by Atkins Limited and the Joint Radio  Company (JRC), who can be contacted as follows:

Atkins Limited
200 Broomielaw
Glasgow
G1 4RU
Email: windfarms@atkinsglobal.com

JRC (Joint Radio Company)
Friars House
Manor House Drive
Coventry
CV1 2TE
Email : windfarms@jrc.co.uk
Website: www.jrc.co.uk/what-we-do/wind-farms

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)

Fixed Wireless Industry Liaison Forum (FWILF)

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.

Fixed Wireless Technical Review Task Group (FWTRTG)

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.

Working Parties (WP)

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.

Fixed Service Task Group (FSTG)

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.

How to get involved

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 christian.songue@ofcom.org.uk and place ‘Industry Groups’ in the subject box, leaving your contact details and which group you are interested in.

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