26/06/2013

Ofcom makes more spectrum license exempt

Ofcom, the Super regulator that looks after radio spectrum amongst other things, has made more spectrum license exempt.

In the UK there is no such thing as unlicensed spectrum and all devices (whether they broadcast or receive radio transmissions) must be covered by a license as per the Wireless Telegraphy Act. Ofcom can issue a Standard Instrument (really an Act of Parliament) to cover certain frequency bands and uses making that spectrum license exempt, which means if the equipment is used as per the SI, it doesn't need a specific license.

Ofcom has made new spectrum available for SRDs (short range devices) such as range finding equipment for cars. There is now 5MHz of spectrum available between 10.575 to 10.6 GHz which will add to the existing range of 10.577 to 10.597 GHz and this came into force on 26th June 2013.

The existing band 10.675 to 10.699 GHz can continue to be used by existing systems, but it will be closed for new systems on 30 December 2014 giving manufacturers 18 months to switch to the new band.

Mobile terminal handsets using WiMAX or LTE in the 800MHz, 2011MHz and 2.6GHz bands will be license exempt (when connected to a licensed mobile network i.e. BT, EE, 3UK, O2 or Vodafone).

Various satellite terminals will also be license exempt in the 1518 to 1525 MHz, 1525 MHz to 1559 MHz, 1626.5 MHz to 1660.5 MHz and 1670 to 1675 MHz bands.

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