Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Restricted Radio and Audio Distribution

Ofcom has published a consultation regarding the Restricted Radio Service, and the Audio Distribution Service (licensed by JFMG for audio "broadcasting" to closed user groups). It makes proposals affecting the spectrum currently shared by ADS with PMSE in the band 60.75 - 62.75 MHz, and other spectrum on either side of this band. There may be opportunities for BEIRG members to provide equipment or use spectrum in these bands. The consultation can be found here.

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

Spectrum changes: 872 and 917 MHz

Ofcom's latest spectrum auction is for 872-876 MHz paired with 917-922 MHz, announced here.
The announcement includes the statement "Ofcom has identified a wide range of potential uses for this spectrum, including ... Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) which means, for example, radio microphones and audio links at concerts or sporting events."
The lower of the two bands, being close in frequency to the existing PMSE band at ch.69 and the licence-exempt audio band at 863-865 MHz, would certainly be useful to BEIRG members. But the chances of gaining access to it are slim. Ofcom has placed the minimum bid for the paired bands at £50,000 and there will be strong competion for them amongst mobile radio operators. Welcome to the spectrum market!

Saturday, 8 April 2006

Spectrum changes: 412 MHz and 422 MHz

Ofcom has published another document in relation to its intended auction of spectrum at 412-414 MHz paired with 422-424 MHz, which can be found here.
This spectrum would be well suited to some BEIRG members for activities such as talkback and audio links, and indeed PMSE use was one possibility suggested by Ofcom in an earlier publication. However anyone wishing to use the spectrum for PMSE will either have to enter the auction to buy the rights to use it, or negotiate with a successful bidder to share access if such an owner is willing to grant it.

The method of spectrum rights sale outlined in this document is broadly similar to that used in previous spectrum auctions, and is likely to be followed for other spectrum that becomes available in the future. In other words, PMSE users or their spectrum provider/s will have to bid against other services for access to new spectrum.

Spectrum changes: 1500 MHz

The 1488 - 1491 MHz band, currently used for audio programme links, will be closed to PMSE users on 31st March 2007.

Ofcom will shortly offer this spectrum at auction.
As an alternative for PMSE users, the band 1517 - 1525 MHz is available for digital or analogue audio links.