PMSE Clearance from 700MHz Band by May 2020

At the July meeting of the DTG PMSE Implementation Group we received an update from the OFCOM representative who stated that they (OFCOM) were still waiting for a statement from the government (DCMS) on the subject and not until they had received that could they then publish the methodology and the replacement funding policy for the kit in the band to be surrendered.

In the mean-time work is continuing within the UK on the possible use of what’s become known as the “air band” in the PMSE community. This is the block of spectrum above 960MHz.

At the meeting Dave Darlington ( BBC R&D) gave an update on measurements taken in the band and reflected on their implications for the use of the band for PMSE alongside the use by the aeronautical community for distance measuring equipment (DME).

From this work it is clear that with certain geographical limitations this band can be used within the UK both indoors an outside and BBC R&D will continue to liaise with OFCOM on further testing around the country.

However there is now a “major fly in the ointment” on this topic as it appears there are a number of European authorities that do not wish to see this band used for PMSE, France and Belgium being two of the leaders who wish to have any further work by CEPT in Europe on this band stopped. Meetings are scheduled this month (JULY) in various E.C technical committees at which the topic is to be discussed with OFCOM leading for the UK hoping to keep the testing going so as to keep the idea “live”.

Two major manufacturers have produced kit to work in this band (Shure & Wizzycom) which are undergoing field trials in the UK at present.

A major briefing paper has been submitted to the Strategic Policy Forum (Government) supporting the continued PMSE access to UHF frequencies within the UK.

Various supporting documents were presented at the July DTG meeting which are available to view when logged into the members’ area.

Malcolm Johnson
IPS Secretariat July 2018