Ofcom, the UK telecommunications regulator, has launched proposals to make it easier for companies and individuals to innovate and launch new wireless services.
Ofcom proposes top achieve this by changing how companies and individuals are allowed to access the radio spectrum.
The radio spectrum, is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, that you learnt about at school.
Wireless technologies use the radio spectrum, which forms part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The radio spectrum is used in many everyday devices, including our smartphones and home wifi.
More broadly, there are many devices also using the radio spectrum, that most people are not aware of.
These include things that we don’t see every day, but which play an important part in our lives – such as satellite technology that monitors our climate from space, smart crop monitoring, and vending machine monitoring.
Ofcom believe there is potential for many more innovative uses of radio spectrum, over the next decade.
New uses include helping to drive productivity in industry, supporting advances in healthcare, allowing public services to introduce new ways to do their work, and even enabling high-tech farms.
The Ofcom proposal, is to make it even easier for companies, public bodies and others to access spectrum for experimental uses.
Last year in 2019, Ofcom launched the spectrum sharing framework to enable access to radio spectrum that isnt being currently used, or could be shared between users.
They are now proposing to offer more licence options to people and organisations who want to make use of local wireless services.
These local wireless services, are private networks that cover a single geographic area, rather than relying on a national network.
Examples of local wireless services include farms using them to monitor crops and livestock, or a factory having its own high-speed communications network, to monitor machinery using IIOT (Industrial Internet of things).
Ofcom believes that with so many services likely to rely on spectrum in the future, and only a limited amount of it to go round, it will be even more important to share it effectively between different users. This is why they have proposed these changes.
Author: Craig Miles
craig.miles [at] yesway.co.uk