22/07/2013

C&W (Vodafone) and Urban WiMAX get 28GHz license variations

Ofcom has issued a statement with respect to the 28GHz Broadband Fixed Wireless Access (BFWA) licences of Cable and Wireless (now Vodafone) and Urban Wimax.

The licenses were due to expire on 31st December 2015 and now they will be made indefinite.

The licensees can use the bands for equipment that complies with Interface Requirement 2048 (IR 2048) in-line with other licensees.

From January 2016, there will be new pricing set which incentivises the licenses to utilise the spectrum. Pricing has not be set yet.

28GHz allows high bandwidth point-to-point links which can be used for backhaul and with Vodafone's purchase of C&W it makes sense to use their own spectrum for mobile backhaul.

Ofcom awards new TV spectrum

Ofcom, the super regulator has issued a statement on the award of the 600MHz band (550 to 606 MHz). This has been awarded to Arqiva for the provision of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) multiplexes. Arqiva will utilise MPEG4 video encoding and DVB-T2 transmission services (as used by Freeview HD).

This is a temporary license, though it will run through until 2026, unless Ofcom give Arqiva 24 months notices in which case it can be revoked in 2018.

The ability to terminate the license is to allow migration of DTT services from the 700MHz band to the 600MHz band in line with EU harmonised spectrum regulation and will allow the 700MHz band to be used for wireless broadband services.