Insights Ofcom consults on enabling spectrum sharing in the upper 6 GHz band


Ofcom has published a consultation proposing to add the upper 6 GHz band (6425-7070 MHz) to its shared access licence framework for low-power, indoor use.

The framework enables shared use of spectrum, which Ofcom says makes it easier for people and businesses to access it for a wide range of local wireless applications. In the case of the 6 GHz band, Ofcom believes that such licences could be particularly suitable for industrial, business and research uses.

Under Ofcom’s proposals, licences would cover the full band for an area within a 50m radius of a central point, and use would be limited to indoor-only, with a maximum power limit of 250mW EIRP. Potential users could apply for multiple licences to cover a larger indoor area. Such applications would be considered on a case-by-case basis. Each licence would be subject to an annual fee of £320 and would be for an indefinite term, with Ofcom reserving the right to revoke licences for spectrum management purposes.

The use of the upper 6 GHz band for licence-exempt consumer Wi-Fi or for licensed 5G mobile networks is out of scope of the consultation, as technical compatibility work is still ongoing to establish whether and how these technologies could share the band with each other or other services. Ofcom says that the proposal will not diminish its ability to authorise either of these in the future, if it decides to do so.

The consultation closes on 11 April 2022. Ofcom intends to reach a final decision later in 2022. To access the proposals, click here.