Ofcom set out its plan to support the development of Spectrum Sandboxes in its recent Spectrum Roadmap. Sandboxes will utilise field trials and the collection of real world data to explore technical solutions to improve the way spectrum is used and shared by different users. The increasing use of network function virtualization, software defined radios and ability to collect and process massive data sets have made Sandboxes a viable way to help develop new solutions for sharing.
In light of the growing interest and demand in accessing spectrum in the 3.8-4.2Ghz band, where we have introduced a shared access approach between incumbent and new users, we are keen to develop our first sandbox environment in this band. Any learning from this sandbox will feed into our review of our current authorisation approach in the band.
To be successful, Sandboxes will require cross industry collaboration and innovation and this inaugural workshop, hosted by the Spectrum Policy Forum at their offices in London, will be the first step toward agreeing objectives and approach.
The objective of the first workshop is to gather views on:
Current and anticipated use cases for the spectrum. Are there use cases that are not supported by the current authorisation approach?
How to best collect data on nature of propagation and interference in the band that is representative of real work deployments and equipment? Analysis of this data will inform future testing within the sandbox.
Terms of Reference and ways of working for stakeholders that want to continue to participate in the sandbox.
This will be a participative workshop and we encourage attendees that have practical commercial and technical experience of deploying radio systems using Ofcom’s Shared Access Licences or that are developing technologies that might increase the utilisation of this spectrum.