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Ofcom takes first steps towards a more flexible spectrum framework

In July, Ofcom announced new rules allowing spectrum sharing in four bands, with the aim of making it easier for businesses or localized service providers to build and operate cellular networks. These are welcome moves to open up spectrum for enterprises and alternative service providers, to ensure that every industry, not just telecoms, can benefit from 4G and 5G. However, there are many compromises in the mechanisms, especially when compared with presumed role models such as the USA’s CBRS framework in 3.5 GHz or Germany’s award of 100 MHz in the 3.7 GHz band for industrial use. It has introduced two new schemes – Local Access licences and Shared Access licences. The former are clearly influenced by the example of…

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