The Spectrum Plan for the London 2012 Games: An Update
1.1 On 19 October 2009 we published our Statement (-1-) setting out the spectrum plan for wireless communications at the London 2012 Games. In the Statement we recognised that some details of the spectrum plan must continue to evolve over time as new information on demand and supply improved our understanding of the requirements for each of the London 2012 Games venues. We said that we expected to publish an update to the spectrum plan, including venue-specific plans, in the second half of 2010.
1.2 This Update to the Statement sets out the evolution of the plan so far. The spectrum plan will continue to evolve and further updates will be published when needed. We expect the final version of the plan will be published early in 2012.
1.3 This Update also summarises the responses to our consultation (-2-) on reserving the 2500-2690 MHz band (the "2.6 GHz band") for the London 2012 Games, which closed on 17 September 2010. We will publish a statement on this later this year.
1.4 Most of the spectrum bands identified in the Statement continue to be available; and access to some additional bands has been secured or is being progressed. This Update provides further detailed information on these and identifies any changes. We believe that the spectrum plan continues to deliver the spectrum that will be required to meet the Government's guarantees.
Potential spectrum bands
1.5 2.6 GHz band. In our Statement, we judged that this band would be awarded and brought into use for new purposes within the timescale of the London 2012 Games; and that the opportunity cost of reserving it for the Games would therefore be high. Since then the timing of the award has changed and we consulted on the proposal to reserve the band for wireless camera use at the Games (-3-) . Most responses favoured the proposal, but significant points were raised and at this stage we do not have sufficient information to decide to reserve the 2.6 GHz band for Games. We will undertake a further assessment of the opportunity cost of doing so; and we will also undertake an assessment of the impact of wireless camera use for the Games (including airborne camera use) of the 2.6 GHz band on radars operating in the 2700-2900 MHz band.
1.6 1980-2010/2170-2200 MHz. These bands are allocated to the mobile satellite service for Earth-to-space and space-to-Earth service links; they are not used for programme making. However, they are located within a frequency range well suited for applications such as wireless cameras and we have taken the view that spectrum from within them could provide useful additional capacity for wireless cameras and other technologies. We are seeking agreements with commercial organisations for access to spectrum within these bands during the Games.
1.7 Since the publication of the Statement the most significant change has taken place around the spectrum bands that will or may be available for wireless cameras. In particular, the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) have been able to agree arrangements for access to spectrum in the range 2700-3100 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz, subject to various constraints summarised in this Update. We have also consulted on reservation of the 2.6 GHz band, referred to above.
Private Mobile Radio, Talkback and Telemetry
1.8 In the Statement we said that most of the demand for private mobile radio (PMR) will be met by the network being built for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd (LOCOG) or the Emergency and Public Safety Services (E&PSS) network operated by Airwave Solutions Ltd. Demand outside these networks will be met from spectrum in the normal bands for PMR, talkback and Telemetry. Ofcom continues to work with stakeholders to ensure that we conserve spectrum in the range 430-478 MHz so that we can meet these needs. The demand for access to spectrum for PMR, talkback and Telemetry technologies includes the spectrum required for the UK-wide Torch Relay.
Wireless microphones and in-ear monitors
1.9 In the Statement we said that most wireless microphones will only operate in UHF Bands IV and V (470-862 MHz, channels 21 to 69). The cleared spectrum available as a result of Digital Switch Over (DSO) to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), including the 800 MHz band, lies in this range and will be available for the London 2012 Games.
1.10 Our assumption that sufficient spectrum will be available for wireless microphones and in-ear monitors (IEMs) is based on our knowledge of available technologies and the density with which wireless microphones and IEMs can be deployed. We have conducted further technical investigations (-4-) to test and confirm our assumptions about what will be feasible and remain confident that the spectrum available will be adequate to meet peak demand for wireless microphones and IEMs. However, we note that there may be a requirement for wireless CATV during the Games, which is currently expected to need 4 x 8 MHz channels. The channels needed for wireless CATV, wireless microphones and IEMs will need to be identified and their assignment prioritised to ensure that sufficient spectrum at times of peak demand for all these uses is available within the finite resources of UHF Bands IV and V.
Satellite News Gathering
1.11 We have recently set out proposals to make additional spectrum available for Transportable Earth Station (TES) satellite uplinks (-5-) in the frequency bands 5.925-7.075 GHz (referred to as "C band") and 27.5-27.8185 GHz, 28.4545-28.8265 GHz and 29.4625-30 GHz (collectively referred to as "Ka band"). These additional bands are already used by other types of satellite Earth stations and would help meet demand for Satellite News Gathering (SNG) at the venues and throughout London during the Games, in addition to the capacity in the Ku band.
1.12 We continue to work closely with those involved in creating specific plans for locations of particular complexity. Chief among these locations are Weymouth and Portland and the Thames and Thames Estuary because the radio environments at these locations are a complex mix of land, air and sea. We are also considering a venue-specific plan for Eton Dorney because this will be the second largest transport hub within the London area. Further venue-specific plans will be created if necessary.
1.13 We will continue to refine the spectrum plan to clarify the detail of the access arrangements that London 2012 Games users will have to spectrum, including at a venue-specific level. We will publish supporting studies where these are needed.
1.14 We will publish a statement on the reservation of spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band later this year.
1.15 We will make available further information on our operational planning, including the arrangements for licensing, testing and tagging, monitoring and enforcement as our plans develop.
1.16 We expect to publish a final version of the spectrum plan for the London 2012 Games early in 2012.
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