05/10/2006

Low power FM transmitters legal (soon)

Ofcom is proposing to legalise the use of low power FM transmitters (i.e. the type used to link portable music devices such as MP3 players to in-car stereos). The full document is available from the Ofcom site.

It also covers: -

* Citizens’ Band (CB) radio. There are about 20,000 licensed users, this band will become license excempt.

* “micro” FM transmitters. Ofcom will allow these (the EU has already recommended legalising such devices, so it really fits in with EU policy).

The following will allow a range of new technologies and novel applications of radio and users wont need a license: -

* Inmarsat BGAN and High Density Fixed Satellite Service (HDFSS) satellite terminals.

* narrow band use of 24 GHz for short-range radar (including automotive applications).

* Radar Level Gauges.

* digital PMR 446 (“walkie talkies”).

Ofcom received 69 responses to the consultation and most were positive, especially for the microPower FM devices.

Ofcom actually seem to be taking public demand into consideration, especially since devices like microPower FM transmitters are available for sale, and though illegal many people are using them anyway.
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