Ofcom 5 GHz Consultation – RSGB and AMSAT-UK responses

Ofcom-logo-col-tIn their response to the Ofcom consultation on Wi-Fi in the 5 GHz Amateur Radio allocation the RSGB said “We are deeply disappointed in respect of Ofcom’s compliance with its duties…”

The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) response highlighted that:
a) Ofcom has deliberately not contacted the most innovative incumbents/stakeholders as
stated in Para 3.43 (only Wi-Fi) prior to the formal consultation period
b) As an incumbent we have been blocked from contact during the consultation
c) Ofcom has ignored their duty with respect to CEPT ECA allocation footnotes ECA17/23
d) We expect Ofcom to makes amends and engage, or we will consider escalating this

The Society pointed out that “Ofcom’s research is badly flawed and belittles incumbents…” and “Ofcom strategy for Consumers is also flawed…”

The RSGB describes how “Ofcom’s preference risks causing harmful interference at home and internationally” and “Ofcom continues to unfairly suppress the most innovative stakeholder in the band, and undermine technology for innovation and emergency communications…”

Read both the RSGB and the AMSAT-UK responses at
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/spectrum-forum-posts-overview/spectrum-forum-papers-consultations/2016/08/01/5ghz-wi-fi/

Ofcom propose using Amateur Radio band for Wi-Fi
https://amsat-uk.org/2016/05/13/ofcom-propose-using-ham-radio-band-for-wi-fi/

CEPT European Common Allocation Table
http://www.erodocdb.dk/Docs/doc98/official/pdf/ERCREP025.PDF

Ofcom propose using Ham Radio band for Wi-Fi

AMSAT members with the amateur radio 5 GHz and 10 GHz Phase 4B transponder MSS geosynchronous satellite

AMSAT members with the amateur radio 5 GHz and 10 GHz Phase 4B transponder MSS geosynchronous satellite

Ofcom is consulting on plans to put Wi-Fi across Amateur and Amateur Satellite spectrum in the 5 GHz band.

The Ofcom consultation document implies that amateur satellites in 5 GHz only operate in very Low Earth Orbits – This is false.

UNITEC-1 Venus spacecraft with amateur radio 5840 MHz payload

UNITEC-1 Venus spacecraft with amateur radio 5840 MHz payload

A5.28 Amateurs can access 5650-5850 MHz with amateur satellite Earth-to-space links in 5650-5670 MHz and space-to-Earth links in 5830-5850 MHz. Most current amateur satellites are typically nano or picosats (also called ‘cubesats’) that occupy slightly elliptical sun-synchronous low earth orbits at 60-800 km altitude. These smaller satellites have relatively low power and antenna gain.

Radio amateurs have sent 5 GHz payloads into far higher orbits. Examples are the Venus orbiter Unitec-1 which operated on 5.840 MHz and AO-40 which is in a 58,836 km High Earth Orbit (HEO). The 5 GHz band will also be used by the Geosynchronous Phase-4B payload and the HEO Phase-3E satellite both of which are currently under construction.

The use of 5725-5850 MHz for Wi-Fi would adversely affect reception of the network of amateur weak-signal propagation beacons.

Ofcom-logo-col-tThe Ofcom press release says:

As broadband delivered to the home gets faster, people increasingly expect their Wi-Fi to provide several services at once – such as video streaming, video calls, gaming and remote working. This demand puts pressure on the spectrum which carries Wi-Fi signals.

Most Wi-Fi routers in the UK currently use a part of the spectrum called the 2.4 GHz band, but this is becoming increasingly congested and can impair broadband delivery of high data rate applications such as streaming video or live TV.

Many people now have newer broadband routers, which use not only the 2.4 GHz band, but also the 5 GHz band – which offers much more spectrum and can accommodate wide channels suitable for high data rate uses.

To make connections faster, Ofcom is proposing to open up an additional ‘sub-band’ within the 5 GHz frequency range for Wi-Fi – while ensuring protection for other users, such as satellite services.

The extra sub-band would increase the number of 80 MHz channels available for Wi-Fi from four to six, to accommodate data-hungry applications. These extra channels – which are already being used in the United States – could be opened up in around two to three years.

The consultation closes on July 22, 2016.

Ofcom 5 GHz consultation http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/5-GHz-Wi-Fi/

You can respond online at
https://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/5-GHz-Wi-Fi/howtorespond/form

The UK Microwave Group (UKuG) point out that Ofcom’s plans for 5725-5850 MHz would unilaterally raise the noise floor for little benefit to consumers. They say 5760 terrestrial & EME and 5840 satellite reception need maximum protection. A Word Doc response form is available on the UKuG site at http://www.microwavers.org/

The UK Microwave Group loans equipment to get amateurs started on 5.7 GHz
http://www.microwavers.org/6cm-loan-system.htm

Network of amateur weak-signal 5.7 GHz propagation beacons
http://www.microwavers.org/maps/6cms.htm

Unitec-1 amateur radio Venus spacecraft
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/may2010/unitec1_signal_received.htm

Ofcom clarifies position on SES call signs

Ofcom-logo-col-tOfcom had said NO to Special Event Station (GB) callsigns being used in the bands above 440 MHz for Amateur Satellite or Terrestrial operation.

The RSGB intervened and Ofcom have now issued revised clarification – Operation above 440 MHz with SES (GB) calls is permitted, so is operation in the 5 MHz segments.

It appears the SES call sign application form OfW287 is rather old and doesn’t list all the available bands. Fortunately that doesn’t matter since the NoV issued for the SES call sign is not band specific.

Well done RSGB !

September 22 – Special Event Callsigns and Microwave Bands
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2015/september/special_event_callsigns_and_microwave_bands.htm

UK Microwave Group Yahoo Reflector http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ukmicrowaves

The Radio Society of Great Britain is inviting all radio amateurs in the UK and Crown Dependencies to complete an online questionnaire. You can find the survey at http://www.rsgb.org/ar-survey

Essex Ham interviewed RSGB President John Gould G3WKL about the 2015 Amateur Radio Survey. Listen to the interview at http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/rsgb-survey-2015.html

UK Spectrum Strategy

RSGB Amateur Radio SlideOn June 30, 2015, Graham Murchie, G4FSG, RSGB Chairman and Murray Niman, G6JYB, Chairman of the RSGB Spectrum Forum presented the case for amateur radio to the UK Spectrum Policy Forum (UKSPF). The Amateur-Satellite Service featured in this presentation.

The Forum has been established as a sounding board to UK Government and Ofcom on future approaches on spectrum with a view to maximising the social and economic value from the spectrum.

The UK Prime Minister David Cameron has stated the ambition to double “the economic benefits of spectrum to UK companies and consumers from roughly £50 billion today, to £100 billion in 2025″.

The UK Spectrum Policy Forum, open to all users of spectrum, is the main vehicle for harnessing user insights and informing these policy decisions.

Read the RSGB story at http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/headlines/2015/07/06/uk-spectrum-strategy/

Download the presentation slides http://thersgb.org/archives/events/ukspf/150703-RSGB-UKSPF-presentation.pptx

UK Spectrum Policy Forum (UKSPF) https://www.techuk.org/about/uk-spectrum-policy-forum

Ofcom considers 10.475 GHz and 47 GHz bands for 5G

Ofcom-logo-col-tThe Amateur Satellite Service allocations at 10.475 GHz  and 47.0 GHz are being considered by Ofcom for 5G use .

Ofcom has published an update on spectrum bands above 6 GHz that might be suitable for next generation mobile, often referred to as ‘5G’ – the fifth generation of mobile services.

This document summarises responses from Ofcom’s earlier Call for Input in January and sets out their current views on bands and next steps. The update identifies several bands in different parts of the 6 – 100 GHz range, including 10.475-10.575 GHz and 47.000-47.200 GHz, they believe are candidates for further study for use in the UK.

Ofcom’s goal is to have globally harmonised bands for next generation mobile services and is currently engaging with other administrations around the world, ahead of these services becoming commercially available in the next five to six years.

Consideration of these bands will now be taken forward in forthcoming international discussions, including the World Radiocommunication Conference-15 (WRC-15) at which the scope of a future WRC-19 agenda item on bands above 6 GHz will be considered.

This does not guarantee these bands will be adopted in the future and Ofcom do not rule out considering other options ahead of WRC-15, pending further research and development.

Ofcom Above 6 GHz consultation page
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/above-6ghz/update-apr15/

Laying the foundations for next generation mobile services: Update on bands above 6 GHz
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/above-6ghz/5G_CFI_Update_and_Next_Steps.pdf

Quotient Associates – 5G Candidate Band Study
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/above-6ghz/qa-report.pdf

Frequencies of Es’hail 2 Geostationary Amateur Radio Transponders
https://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/21/eshail-2-ham-radio-transponders/

Notice of Variation to UK Amateur Radio Licence

Ofcom-logo-col-tOfcom have announced that following representations they are restoring the 75.875-76.0 GHz Amateur and Amateur-Satellite allocation to Primary status in the new amateur radio licence which comes into effect on April 7, 2015.

The Ofcom licensing updates page says:

Following the recent notification sent to licensees of our proposal to vary the Amateur Radio Licence, Ofcom now publishes a Notice of Variation to the Amateur Radio licence.

Licensees who received a notification dated 30th January are not covered by this. Their licences will be the subject of a separate Notice, which we shall publish in the course of the next couple of weeks.

The new licence document, which will have effect from 7 April 2015 has been published on our website, at
http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radiocommunication-licences/amateur-radio/guidance-for-licensees

The Notice of Variation along with Annex A and B can be downloaded from
http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radiocommunication-licences/amateur-radio/licensing-updates/notice-of-variation/

A number of changes have been made to the licence proposals originally announced December 5, 2014, these are detailed in Annex B.

It is understood that examinations will continue to be based on old licence terms until October 2015, since any exam changes are subject to a six month notice period.

Read the RSGB report at
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2015/03/13/notice-variation-amateur-radio-licence/