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Allocation of the 700 MHz band

The Norwegian government has decided that the 700 MHz band (694-790 MHz) in the future will be dedicated to mobile broadband communications services. Today the 700 MHz band is used for digital terrestrial television (DTT) and wireless microphones (in "white spaces") in Norway. The DTT-licence expires 3rd of June 2021. The Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) is currently preparing the allocation of the band.

Spectrum to be awarded

The 700 MHz band is harmonized within the EEA. 2 x 30 MHz of the frequency band (marked "Uplink" and "Downlink" in Figure 1) shall be used for mobile services in the future.

The rest of the band consist of a "center gap" and guard bands. Each country within the EEA may decide which of the following services they will allow in these parts of the band:

  • PMSE (Program Making and Special Events), e.g. wireless microphones, in the frequency range 694-703 MHz and 733-758 MHz.
  • PPDR (Public Protection and Disaster Relief) in the frequency range 698-703 MHz, 733-736 MHz, 753-758 MHz and 788-791 MHz. 
  • M2M (machine-to-machine radio communications), e.g. equipment for Internet of Things, in the frequency range 733-736 MHz and 788-791 MHz. 
  • SDL (Supplemental downlink), extra capacity for download of data in the frequency range 738-758 MHz.

 

Harmonisert bruk av 700 MHz-båndet

Figur 1: Harmonization of the 700 MHz band

Recommendations on the use of the 700 MHz band

Nkom is preparing the allocation of the 700 MHz band. Overall objectives for the allocation are to facilitate the efficient use of the spectrum and maximize the economic benefit to the society.  

Nexia Management Consulting AS (now Analysys Mason AS) and Menon Business Economics AS have conducted a socioeconomic analysis of the usage of the 700 MHz band on assignment from Nkom. Nexia/Menon delivered their report in February 2017. The report  (in Norwegian only) and an executive summary (in English) are available for download. The report was subject to public consultation from 1 March 2017 to 19 April 2017. Consultation responses are available for download, but are in Norwegian only.   

Nkom have engaged DotEcon Limited as consultant on the preparation and implementation of the allocation.

Nkom provided our recommendations on the usage of the 700 MHz band to the Ministry of Transport and Communications in June 2017. Nkom has considered which usage of the spectrum will facilitate the most efficient use of the resources and also to be socioeconomically most beneficial. Nkom recommend that 2 x 30 MHz is allocated for commercial, public mobile networks.

Nkom has considered whether parts of the 700 MHz-band should be set aside for a high speed broadband service for public safety network (PPDR). Nkom's recommendation is however that the needs for such broadband services for PPDR-users and the Norwegian Armed Forces best can be met by commercial operators in public mobile networks. This recommendation is in line with the Norwegian government's Digital Agenda and Nkom will actively work towards that commercial public mobile networks shall be able to provide services for PPDR-users in the future.

Part 1 and 2 of Nkom's report  to the Ministry of Transport and Communications is made public together with a cover letter to the Ministry which contains a summary of Nkom's recommendations for the use for the 700 MHz band (both in Norwegian only). The rest of the report contains Nkom's preliminary assessments on overall framework for the allocation, use of the "center gap" and guard bands etc. and this part of the report is not public.

Decision to assign 2 x 30 MHz to commercial operators

8 December 2017 the Norwegian Government decided that 2 x 30 MHz in the 700 MHz band shall be made available for commercial operators. The decision is in accordance with Nkom's recommendation to the Ministry of Transport and Communications. This is also in accordance with the joint recommendation from the Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) and Nkom that the next-generation emergency communications network should be realized within commercial networks. Nkom will now continue with preparations towards the assignment of the 700 MHz band.

Preliminary timeline for the allocation process

  • First half of 2018: Public hearing of the overall objectives of the allocation
  • Second half of 2018: Public hearing of the detailed rules for the allocation process
  • First part of 2019: Allocation of the 700 MHz band

Use of wireless microphones in the 700 MHz-band

When the 700 MHz-band is used for mobile broadband communications services, there will no longer be given rights to use wireless microphones in the frequency bands 703-733 MHz and 758-788 MHz. It has not yet been decided whether wireless microphones will be allowed in the center gap or guard bands, but Nkom recommend users to buy equipment that support other frequency bands than 700 MHz.

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