Insights Ofcom publishes call for input on its Shared Access Licence framework and publishes discussion paper on flexible spectrum management approaches


Ahead of an upcoming review of the Shared Access Licence framework, where changes to support users’ experiences will be considered, Ofcom is seeking views on the framework.

The Shared Access framework was established in 2019 and enables businesses and industries across the UK to benefit from direct localised access to spectrum that could support mobile technology. Example uses include the development of 5G broadcast technologies, rural wireless services and improved connectivity at ports.

Ofcom has issued more than 1,600 licences across the four spectrum bands, providing localised access to spectrum under a simple, low-cost framework. It now wants to find out about users’ experiences of the Shared Access Licence framework, consider evolving user demands and review how its approach can continue to meet the needs of current licensees as well as future users.

Ofcom has also published a discussion paper exploring the opportunities and challenges associated with applying flexible, increasingly time-based, spectrum management approaches in the UK to allow more users to share this scarce resource.

The paper:

  • considers how more automation and better data can support gains in spectrum sharing;
  • recognises the need for a more flexible equipment ecosystem and more standardised dynamic access solutions; and
  • acknowledges that such solutions may best meet users’ needs as a top up to more guaranteed capacity.

The deadline for responding to the call for input is 16 May 2023. To access the call for input, click here. To access the discussion paper, click here.