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Ofcom proposals spur UK wireless innovation

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]

OFCOM Licence Management

Two Way Radio Communications Based Lincolnshire (

International Telecommunications Union | Lincoln Two Way Radio Sales & Hire (

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Product Design & Re-Engineering

Product Design & Re-Engineering

Have an idea for a new product, or wish to improve and existing product or industry by integrating wireless IOT (Internet of Things) technologies?

We are experienced in:-


Our staff have experience of working for Astrium Space, now re-named Airbus Defence & Space.

Experience in researching X- Band Space Communications Satellite component and subsystem reliability data, and obtaining NATO Codification Numbers (NCN) for un-codified component parts.

Experience of working with classified documentation, and under the Official Secrets Act.

NATO security clearance, and working on the reliability of NATO military satellite communications, ground stations, ships radomes, and aircraft communication system updates.

Staff Interviewing, as part of AS9100 Quality Manual internal update process. Checking existing departmental and process procedures are still current, to enable updating of Quality Manual revision level. Undertaken as short term contract, and completed 1 week ahead of the allocated time period.

Solution finding & development

  • Development, and integration.

Questions to ask

Who is the product aimed at?

This is also known as the product’s target market.

This is an important first step in the product design process  and will influence the finished product.

As Yesway has ‘in house’ marketing degree expertise, as well as engineering development expertise. We approach and incorporate marketing tools into the product planning process.

Example tools include ‘Slept Analysis’, which stands for Social, Legal, Economic, Political, Technological.

Social: Is your proposed product going to appeal, or acceptable to your target market?

For instance, a new type of bikini aimed at the Iranian market is likely to be a sales failure.

This is because Iran is an Islamic country, where clothing modesty, is the social & cultural norm.

Another example I could give was when I worked for an International Defence Aerospace organisation. The company had previously sold a piece of military communications equipment to a foreign government

The company had previously sold a piece of military space communications equipment to a foreign government. The equipment was a standard

The equipment was a standard design and was shown to another foreign government, who were also interested in purchasing a system.

The ‘Social’ issue in this example was that Country ‘A’, & County ‘B’ were neighbours and rivals.

Country ‘B’ believed that their country & military were superior to Country ‘A’.  This was a social factor, which meant that once they heard that Country ‘A’ had bought the same system

This was a social factor, which meant that once they heard that Country ‘A’ had bought the same system, they wanted a better system.

The solution was to re-engineer the same system to have extra ‘indicator bulbs’ on the control monitoring system.

Country ‘B’ was thus satisfied and bought the ‘improved’ system.

Legal: What laws affect your product?

One of the first questions to ask yourself when researching the answer is where are you planning to sell your product.

This matters, as you need to consider not only national laws but international laws also.

For example, if you were developing a LoraWan wireless connected sensor ‘node’, different regions use different radio frequencies.

Therefore you could not develop a product for the North Amercian market, and sell it in Europe, without complying with the relevant frequency laws.

Economic: Can your target customers afford your product?

What might be considered a mass market product in some markets (i.e, western Europe & USA), might be considered a luxury item in the developing world.

The product selling price is an important consideration, as not only will affordability been a consideration, but also desirability.

Studies have shown (such as Mercedes 190 case) that when a product is sold at too low a price, then it can be perceived as being desirable.

In the case of the Mercedes 190, those people looking for a prestige car, assumed the 190 was not as good as other Mercedes, as the price was similar to mainstream alternatives.

A model relaunch, with increased spec & price, resulted in sales taking off.

Political: What changes might affect your product?

Political changes are closely linked to Legal changes.

If you wished to produce novelty domestic incandescent light bulbs, then the ban on them, would affect you.

Research into what is happening politically is an important consideration, for both new and existing products.

Existing products, may be able to be ‘re-engineered’ to adapt them to new political policy changes, such as fitting more efficient engines to the ‘Land Rover Defender’, which enabled it to be produced for so long.

Technological: New technologies & disruptive ideas.

The world is changing faster now, than at any time in human history.

While once upon a time we used Thermionic Valves in our radios, transistors bought about product miniaturisation in the 1960s.

The 1970s saw ‘Silicon Chips’ being introduced, revolutionising computers, making them smaller and more powerful than their predecessors.

Want to buy shares in a VHS video recorder company? Thought not!

Constant analysis of new technologies, and what your competitors are doing with them, is essential.

Latest technology trends include VR (Virtual Reality), and the IOT (Internet of Things).

The above are examples of new disruptive ideas and innovation, which did not exist a few years ago.

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What is a LoraWAN Gateway

A LoraWAN Gateway is a device that receives (and potentially sends) the wireless data from your lora enabled sensors, and then connects it to the Internet.

These sensors are typically low powered devices capable of detecting such things as moisture of the soil, pollution levels, or pretty much whatever you wish to measure.

The LoraWAN Gateway can be connected to the Internet in a variety of ways, such as Ethernet, 3G,4G and 4G LTE.

Manufacturers include Link-Labs, MultiTech and Kerlink

LORA itself is a low power network technology that is an alternative technology to other standards such as Sigfox.

Internet of Things