Responses to stakeholder comments on the future of 2.6 GHz spectrum in Ireland

Plum reviewed and responded to the comments received from interested parties in response to ComReg’s consultation Document 11/80, on the future of the 2.6 GHz radio spectrum band. This consultation sought comments on a report, Document 11/80a, that considered the technical feasibility of the 2.6 GHz band being shared by MMDS and Next Generation Mobile Broadband (“NGMB”) systems and the costs and benefits of different timing options where the band is reallocated to alternative uses.

Reviewing the comments and considering new information since Document 11/80a was prepared led Plum to reaffirm the conclusion in Document 11/80a: “Overall we conclude that the benefits of early release of 2.6 GHz spectrum outweigh the costs under the range of assumptions…we considered – some of which are judged to be conservative such as the benefits of mobile broadband.”

Plum further noted that, in the case of uncertainty over the conclusions of the economic cost-benefit analysis (which estimated net benefits from allocating 2.6 GHz spectrum to NGMB), one potential approach would be to allocate 2.6 GHz spectrum using a technology-neutral competitive process. This would enable the market to determine the highest value use of the 2.6 GHz spectrum band.