Monday, February 16, 2009

Ireland Opens Radio Frequency Spectrum for Equipment Testing

Ireland's radio spectrum regulatory agency, the Commission for Communications Regulations (ComReg) is promoting Ireland's radio spectrum as a test-bed to companies and organizations who wish to test and trial wireless projects across all spectrum ranges. The regulator is in the process of opening various bands for testing purposes, including the UHF band -- which is suitable for mobile TV -- as well as the 900 MHz and 2300 MHz bands -- which are suitable for mobile communications services via technologies such as GSM, 3G, LTE, WiMAX etc.

ComReg said Ireland is particularly suited as a wireless testing environment as it has a wide range of clean radio frequencies available for test and trial. This unique advantage stems from Ireland's low use of spectrum for defense purposes, its geography, as an island Ireland is relatively free of radio spectrum interference from other countries, and Ireland's relatively low population density. This means that organizations can test and trial wireless devices in almost any part of Ireland's radio spectrum, including highly valued spectrum bands such as the 700 MHz band.

Over a longer timeframe, ComReg is investigating the release of spectrum in other bands. Investigations are currently focused on the 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands, all potentially suitable for mobile communications services.

"Ireland's radio spectrum test-bed presents a unique opportunity for companies in the U.S. to test and trial innovative wireless products. Tests can be carried out in almost any part of Ireland's radio spectrum so products and services can be tested for the North American, European, and Worldwide markets" said Alex Chisholm, Commissioner, ComReg.

"The use of Ireland's radio spectrum as a test-bed is a unique opportunity for companies who want to test, trial or launch wireless services. With the growth of 4G and next generation services worldwide, this programme is a valuable resource that promotes the development of world-class technology" said David Smith, SVP for Telecoms, Enterprise Ireland.

The fee for a test license is 200 Euro (approx $298) for a year; a trial license, which also includes the opportunity to garner customer feedback, costs 500 Euro (approx $747) for a year. Both licences can be obtained in as little as 10 days.