The ICP (Portugal's telecommunications regulator) recently sounded interest in the use of FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) technology. This technology provides subscribers with wireless access to various services, including voice telephony, data transmission, television signal transmission and some multimedia applications.
After significant response from operators, who declared interest in a number of different applications, it was decided to divide FWA across four frequency bands.
Licences are to be put up for tender, as available spectrum space is limited. One exception is the 1900 MHz band, destined for DECT technology, access to which is open to all.
Frequency bands subject to licensing are the 3600-3800 MHz band, for narrowband point-multipoint communication such as voice telephony and low-debit data transmission; 24.5-26.5 GHz, for broadband point-multipoint systems such as high-speed Internet links, video-on-demand and videoconference; and 27.5-29.5 GHz for point-multipoint systems in which television signals will be given priority.
Three slots will be available in the 3600-3800 MHz band, six in 24.5-26.5 GHz and two in 27.5-29.5 GHz. To each slot there corresponds one operator.
In all cases the use of Fixed Wireless Access shall be geared to the extension of previously existing infrastructure. There will be no FWA service provider. Furthermore, FWA will not be able to function as an extension of previously existing mobile networks.
FWA will be available as from 1 January 2000.