Ofcom Proposes Ham Band for Wi-Fi

Ofcom have just completed a consultation regarding plans to put Wi-Fi across Amateur and Amateur Satellite spectrum in the 5 GHz band

The proposal implies that amateur satellites in 5 GHz only operate in very Low Earth Orbits, which appear inaccurate as radio amateurs have sent 5 GHz payloads into far higher orbits. Examples are the Venus orbiter Unitec-1 which operated on 5.840 MHz and AO-40 which is in a 58,836 km High Earth Orbit (HEO). The 5 GHz band will also be used by the Geosynchronous Phase-4B payload and the HEO Phase-3E satellite both of which are currently under construction.

Ofcom's proposal to use 5725-5850 MHz for Wi-Fi would adversely affect reception of the network of amateur weak-signal propagation beacons
The reason for the move is so Ofcom can allocate bandwidth for home broadband services, including internal Wi-Fi networks.

Many people now have newer broadband routers, which use not only the 2.4 GHz band, but also the 5 GHz band – which offers much more spectrum and can accommodate wide channels suitable for high data rate uses.

To make connections faster, Ofcom is proposing to open up an additional ‘sub-band’ within the 5 GHz frequency range for Wi-Fi – while ensuring protection for other users, such as satellite services.

The extra sub-band would increase the number of 80 MHz channels available for Wi-Fi from four to six, to accommodate data-hungry applications. These extra channels – which are already being used in the United States – could be opened up in around two to three years.

Ofcom 5 GHz consultation - http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/5-GHz-Wi-Fi/

The UK Microwave Group loans equipment to get amateurs started on 5.7 GHz - http://www.microwavers.org/6cm-loan-system.htm