Ofcom plans to open up more spectrum in the millimeter band for point-to-point wireless links, reports Silicon.com.
The Office of Communications (Ofcom), the UK’s communications regulator, said the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz bands will be available for point to point fixed wireless systems (FWS) on a light licensed basis in the UK. The new spectrum could be used as alternatives to fibre-optic cable, with possible data speeds ranging from 1Gbps to 10Gbps over distances of one to two kilometres.
Ofcom said the spectrum – due to be made available from spring 2007 – will be licensed rather than auctioned, as demand for the frequencies is unlikely to exceed supply.
It will offer registration on a first come, first served basis, with licensees paying £50 per link per year. The licences will be tradeable and licence holders themselves will be responsible for managing any interference issues between links.
The FCC established rules to promote use of the millimeter wave spectrum in the 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz and 92-95 GHz bands in 2003 (FCC’s Memorandum and Order (pdf). The FCC’s liberalized 70-90 GHz rules made the frequencies available for use in a broad range of new products and services, including high-speed, point-to-point wireless local area networks and broadband Internet access.
Companies with gigabit wireless solutions include:
- GigaBeam has a point-to-point wireless solution called WiFiber. It operates in the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz radio spectrum. The current speed achieved by GigaBeam’s WiFiber is one Gigabit-per-second with future products capable of using the 10 Gigabit Ethernet protocol standard.
- Loea Communications has been operating a series of demonstration sites in the 71-76 GHz band over the past two years, including a 2.7 mile gigabit data link to move raw HDTV footage at the 2003 Super Bowl.
- The LMDS band has bandwidth to burn. Hundreds of megabits per second are available in both point to point and multipoint licensed wireless at 28 Ghz, 31Ghz and 39Ghz. XO currently has licenses in the 28 GHz to 31 GHz frequency bands covering 73 major U.S. metropolitan cities. Competitor First Avenue Networks, bought the spectrum assets of bankrupt of ART (at 39GHz) and Teligent (at 24 GHz), and now owns licenses in the top 77 metropolitan areas.
- The range of Unlicensed 60 GHz is generally under a mile. IBM Research has a chipset for for the 57-64 GHz unlicensed band.
- DragonWave uses the unlicensed 24 GHz band. Jeff Thompson, founder of DragonWave says rain and snow isn’t a problem, “You would start seeing weather effects at 38 GHz but not at 24 GHz.”
DailyWireless has more on the Millimeter Band including; 60GHz Comes Home, Tropos + GigaBeam, FirstAve/FiberTower Merger, Jump to Light Speed, 60 Ghz Long Shot, FCC Liberalizes 70-90 GHz, Gigabit WiFi, 60 GHz Radios, YDI Goes 24GHz, Dartmouth’s Triple Play, GigE to the Home – Wireless Next?, GigE WiMax?, More Gigabit Wireless and Re-animating Backhaul.