ANACOM seeks market's opinion on new wireless broadband technology

ANACOM - Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações has launched a public consultation on the question of introducing Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) in Portugal. ANACOM's wants to hear the opinions of manufactures, operators and users; given that various market players have expressed an interest in bringing this technology to Portugal. Interested parties are given 20 working days to contribute to the consultation.

Broadband Wireless Access involves mobile and fixed applications and comes in response to the growing demand, in Portugal as elsewhere, for bitstream access to provide multimedia services at fixed locations. ANACOM has received several requests to make part of the spectrum available for BWA technical trials with WIMAX type systems.

The consultation launched by ANACOM, takes into account the positions that have been debated in international organisations, especially the European Commission and the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT), as well as the results of ANACOM's own public consultation on Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), with the aim of reformulating usage rights of the spectrum as allocated in Portugal.

ANACOM has been following the course of the debate on the introduction of this type technology in various international fora. This debate has looked at both the technical issues involved (e.g. technical solutions, the spectrum and standards) and at a regulatory framework for this technology, with the aim of achieving harmonisation in the solutions adopted.

The choice of frequency bands could be determined by the success of new technologies and their dependant services, and should, whenever possible, be for harmonised bands and not one-off solutions. Accordingly various bands will be looked at for the introduction of BWA systems, while the work done so far allow it be concluded that the priority bands for BWA applications should be 3.6 GHz and 5.8 GHz.

In order to get an overall view of the BWA issue, it is important to emphasise the most recent activities that NUTS has been involved in and could impact any decision that may be adopted.