WiMAX and License Exemption: A Survey of OECD Countries

From Table 3 in The Implications of WiMAX for Competition and Regulation by Taylor Reynolds, OECD, 2005, pages 38-39. Links to our own research have been added to the country names:

"Are operators allowed to use WiMAX technologies in the licence-exempt spectrum bands (e.g. 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz)?"

Australia There are a number of providers who are claiming to use technologies that are based on the 802.16 standard. This is primarily in the 5.8 GHz class licensed spectrum band. Within Australia there is no licence exempt spectrum. With respect to wireless access services (WAS), the regulator (the Australian Communications Authority) makes a number of spectrum bands available under different licensing arrangements. With respect to 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz, these bands are made available for WAS under a class licence. This provides a 'public park' regulatory environment. Users receive no guarantee of protection from interference from other services and must not cause interference to other services. The devices reduce the likelihood of causing interference by virtue of their design and restricted power. Class licences are not issued to individuals and no licence fees are payable.
Austria 2.4 GHz is available since it is technology neutral. However, it is unknown at this time if WiMAX fulfils air interface or not. 5.8 GHz is currently unavailable.
Belgium It is foreseen that WiMAX could be allowed in the 5.8 GHz band.
Canada The 2.4 and 5.8 GHz bands can be used for WiMAX. Industry Canada does not designate spectrum for specific technologies, such as WiMAX, but WiMAX can be used in any band, subject to compliance with the technical limits.
Czech Republic Equipment can be used in 2.4 GHz band provided it fulfills ERC/REC 70-03E, Annex 3 requirements. The same will apply for 5.47 - 5.725 GHz band after this band is opened in the second half of the year 2005. In the 5.725 - 5.875 GHz band, the traffic is approved only for power up to 25 mW eirp.
Denmark In principle WiMAX technologies can be used in the mentioned frequency bands. However the current regulations need to be observed.
Finland The 2.4 GHz band is available if they fulfil general requirements mentioned in the Finnish regulation on the use of licence exempt equipment (transmitters power limits, power spectral densities etc.). WiMAX would be allowed in the 5.8 GHz band (5725-5875 MHz) before relevant studies and regulations are finalised at the ECC level.
France Theoretically it is possible to use WiMAX technologies in the 2.4 GHz band (the 5.8 GHz band is not open in France). However, it may prove difficult in practice due to power restrictions given by PIRE (puissance de rayonnement des équipements) and ETSI standards.
Greece 2.4 GHz is available for use in Greece.
Hungary WiMAX can be used in the licence exempt band 2 400 - 2 483.5 MHz under the provisions given for RLANs. WiMAX usage is not yet allowed in the band 5 725 - 5 875 MHz. Compatibility studies are in progress.
Iceland The license exempt bands are available, provided operators comply with ERC/ECC requirements (REC's and/or DEC's).
Ireland The 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz bands are both available on a licence exempt basis in Ireland. WiMAX equipment could be deployed in these bands subject to meeting the appropriate harmonised standards or equivalent.
Japan At present, the MIC has not allocated spectrum to WiMAX but is currently examining WirelessMAN with a research committee.
Korea Korea does not mandate a technical standard for wireless facilities and thus there are no separate rules governing the use of WiMAX in license-exempt bands.
Luxembourg The 2.4 GHz band is used for wireless networks such as Wi-Fi and the use of WiMAX would not be allowed in the same band. The 5.8 GHz band is part of our public consultation, available at: WiMAX fr.doc. The band is important as well because it is the object of discussions at CEPT.
Mexico Operators are not allowed to use WiMAX technologies in the licence-exempt spectrum bands. At present, the 2.4 and 5.8 GHz bands are not licence-exempt in Mexico.
Netherlands The position from the Netherlands is first to solve compatibility problems with radar and then move towards license-exempt use via an EEC decision.
New Zealand  
Norway Any technologies are allowed to use the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands as long as they adhere to the general authorizations for use. Currently, the general authorisations are out for general consultation. Whatever technology it is possible to implement in line with the general authorisation for use of the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands is allowed. Currently the general authorisations are out for public consultations.
Poland Polish law does not impose any restrictions with respect to the technology applied in the licence-exempt spectrum bands and thus operators can use WiMAX.
Portugal NA
Slovak Republic  
Sweden The 2.4 GHz band is open for different kinds of technology and a WiMAX system will be allowed as long as it adheres to ETSI EN 300 328 V1.5.1. The 5470-5725 GHz band is in principle available for WiMAX based systems as long as they fulfil certain requirements. The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency has also decided to offer the 5.725-5.875 GHz band for BWA use - likely on a non-licence condition.
Switzerland In Switzerland, we can envisage the installation of WiMAX equipment solely in the frequency bands 5.47-5.725 GHz (which have been available since 01 February 2005). However, equipment would be limited to power levels of 1 Watt eirp maximum.
United Kingdom Operators could deploy WiMAX in the 5.8 GHz band where it complied with the spectrum access requirements given in:
United States WiMAX could operate in licence-exempt bands as long as the equipment met the technical and operational requirements under Part 15 rules applicable to the particular band in which it was operating. These rules are accessible at: