• The National Table of Frequency Attribution (CNAF) establishes the regulatory framework and the use for which the different frequency bands are reserved, according to the norms and guidelines of international working groups and European Union legislation.
  • Among the modifications incorporated, the determination of the maximum limit of the number of frequencies that an operator may use in the 700 MHz band, one of the three priority bands for the introduction of 5G networks, stands out.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation has approved the Ministerial Order modifying the National Table of Attribution of Frequencies (CNAF), a regulatory framework that establishes the use for which each of the frequency bands in which it is reserved the radio spectrum is divided.

The modification includes the determination of the maximum limit of the number of frequencies that may be used by the same operator in the 700 MHz band for the provision of broadband wireless electronic communications services. This band includes frequencies that have been identified as especially suitable for the introduction of 5G in the European Union, together with the 3.5 GHz frequency band that in Spain was awarded in July 2018, being one of the first countries in the EU in its award.

Specifically, the established limits are: regarding the paired frequencies of the 700 MHz band, the maximum limit is established at 2×15 MHz per operator. In addition, a maximum limit of 2×35 MHz per operator is established for all the paired bands of 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz.

In determining these limits, a good balance is ensured between, on the one hand, the amount of spectrum necessary for an operator to deploy its networks efficiently and to adequately provide its 5G services and, on the other hand, to promote competition by avoiding spectrum hoarding.

The modification of the CNAF also includes frequency reservations and technical conditions for their use for different types of services that are provided through the use of the radio spectrum. Among them, it is worth highlighting those dedicated to security and emergency services; fire protection; smart electricity, gas or water distribution networks and the frequencies to be used for remotely piloted aircraft, such as drones.

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