Ofcom have published a preliminary breifing outling the key issues that will be considered at the conference and explaining why they matter to the UK. Organisations are requested to provide comment before 13 September 2018.
5G is set to be a major discussion point at the 2019 conference, specifically the availablility of spectrum for this next generation of mobile broadband. The preceding WRC (WRC-15) saw an increase in the number of spectrum bands harmonised for mobile broadband. Since then there has been strong interest in using spectrum bands for 5G in higher frequencies ranges than are currently used for mobile, i.e. above 24 GHz. Ofcom has addressed that emerging interest through a number of documents, identifying spectrum at 26 GHz (24.25 – 27.5 GHz) as being of high interest and a band that should be supported for global harmonisation.
We have previously made clear that we support the harmonisation of the 26 GHz band (24.25 – 27.5 GHz) for IMT at WRC-19, on a global basis. We believe that this is the highest priority mmWave band for 5G and identification at WRC-19. In July 2017, Ofcom published a call for inputs (CFI) to gather input from stakeholders on all aspects related to making the 26 GHz band available for 5G. In that document, we noted that we expect that WRC-19 will decide to formally identify the 26 GHz band as a global band for IMT (the ITU terminology for mobile broadband).
In addition to the 26 GHz band, other bands that we intend to promote for identification for IMT are; 40.5-43.5 GHz (as part of the wider 37-43.5 GHz band) and 66-71 GHz.
As we said in our Call for Input and more recent Enabling 5G in the UK, we consider that the frequency range 37-43.5 GHz has strong potential to become a 5G band, noting its attractiveness as a wide tuning range for harmonised equipment, while equipment development in 66-71 GHz should be able to draw on the experience of multi-gigabit wireless systems in the adjacent band. The 66-71 GHz band also appears to have no 6 Ofcom consultation on the UK preparations for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15)... Finally, the band 32 GHz (31.8 – 33.4 GHz) has also been discussed internationally, although there appears to be little traction on this band at present.