Feeds

No licence required: Ofcom sets bandwidth bundle free

Not all radio is gold

Boost IT visibility and business value

Ofcom has proposed removing licence requirements from a handful of frequency bands, releasing microwave links and short-range radios, not to mention personal locator beacons, from the licensing burden.

The proposals (45-page PDF/253KB, very dull indeed) follow a consultation published back in April to remove licence requirements from a handful of bands on the grounds that derestriction would lead to greater utilisation – which is one of Ofcom's prime remits, despite the regulator's apparent focus on revenue generation and moral protection.

Not a lot of people responded to that consultation, reflecting the lack of interest in the bands. Requiring users to hold a licence for an emergency locator beacon, or a short-range sensor at 138MHz, just prevents them from being used, so hopefully removing that barrier will spur adoption. The same thing applies to radio links between 3.4 and 3.8GHz, but when it comes to 2GHz then things get a little more contentious.

Satellite operators did raise some concerns about the unlicensed use of 3.4-3.8GHs, pointing out that it is very close to their bands and needs to be watched carefully. Ofcom agreed to keep an eye on this, but is pushing ahead with the new rules.

At 2GHz, where the same satellite operators thought deregulation was a marvellous idea, the mobile operators got quite vocal. Everything Everywhere pointed out that it uses the neighbouring bands, and has a great deal to lose if unlicensed kit starts interfering with its 3G services. The arguments get quite intense, so Ofcom has postponed any decision on the 2GHz band until the CEPT makes a cross-Europe ruling.

Conforming with Europe also means allowing the existing mobile operators to deploy 3 and 4G services in the hitherto 2G-only 1800MHz band, which was expected but is now codified. Everything Everywhere has considerable holdings in that band, though making use of the ruling will require handsets and base stations which don't yet exist, but refarming the frequencies is an important first step.

Ofcom's proposals to do just that are now up for a final consultation, open until 21 November. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?