JRC Response to Ofcom Call for inputs on 5G spectrum access at 26 GHz

As critical systems users, the Joint Radio Company (JRC) welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation on behalf of the electricity and gas utility operators.
JRC supports the actions of Ofcom in seeking to identify potential 5G scenarios and the need to understand any system sharing requirements before making long-term spectrum decisions specific to the 26GHz band.
Moreover, as it is unclear at this stage what form 5G services will take in the 26 GHz frequency range, we urge Ofcom to ensure on-going security of access to incumbent services on which the energy utility operators depend.
Potential 5G applications in the band may include backhaul and mobile services. In the case of backhaul this may be similar to existing fixed links services and may be readily accommodated alongside established fixed links within the band. The deployment of cellular type mobile communications within the band may be limited to localised base station to mobile devices in a ‘hot-spot’ type model and, as such, these systems are likely to be targeted to high footfall areas involving small cells embedded within the urban clutter. This may facilitate the opportunity for co-existence with incumbent uses such as fixed links.