The continued surge in mobile data demand, paired with the finite nature of spectrum resources, and the desire to provide customers with the highest quality service has put a lot of pressure on RAN spectrum resources over the past few years.
As operators begin their first deployments of small cells outdoors, a significant challenge they will face will be the provision of backhaul requirements and this has sparked a new wave of innovation in the area, for example in microwave backhaul, which require access to area-licensed spectrum.
The current research report is based on a recent regulators’ survey across Europe and covers the availability and licensing requirements for area-licensed spectrum mainly in the high-capacity Line-of-Sight (LOS) bands commonly located within the range 26-42GHz. As new high-capacity small cell-centric backhaul solutions come to market, several countries that have provided such area-based licenses at 26, 28, 32, 38 and/or 42GHz, are revisiting the use, licensing procedure and availability of these bands to meet future requirements.
This report is based on interviews with the regulators for each of the countries covered and includes the following information:
• Which frequencies within the range 26-42GHz are currently licensed on the basis of geographic areas in regulator’s jurisdiction
• What is the process for acquiring microwave area-licensed LOS spectrum in regulator’s jurisdiction?
• Who (if any) are the current holders of microwave area-licensed LOS spectrum? How much do they have? Are the licenses nationwide or regional?
• What is the license duration if any? What is the renewal process?
• What topologies can the spectrum be used for? PTP (point-to-point) or PMP or mixed PTP/PMP or “any application”? Are there any technology specific restrictions (i.e. TDD vs. FDD). Is use of the band restricted to any particular CEPT or other specification?
• What are the plans for future change of use, auctions, etc.?
The countries covered by the report are:
Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and UK. Frequencies covered include 26, 28, 32, 38 and 42 GHz.
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