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September 15, 2014

Ofcom proposes changes to spectrum licensing

Amateurs get access to 470 kHz and 5 MHz bands.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Ofcom is seeking industry support about proposed changes to update spectrum and amateur radio licensing.

The UK regulator said the proposals include changes which would provide amateurs with access to some frequency bands in the 470 kHz and 5 MHz bands respectively.

However, users of the spectrum are restricted if the Ministry of Defence says they’re causing interference.

"If the licensee is notified that the radio equipment is causing interference to the services…the licensee must close down the radio equipment and not use it until it can be used without causing such interference," Ofcom said in a report.

The consultation follows a decision by Ofcom in April to remove access for amateur radio operators to certain frequencies in the 2300 MHz and 3400MHz ranges in order to support the release of these bands by the MoD.

Ofcom is also proposing to change the license condition, which currently states that amateurs can only communicate with other amateurs, as well as permitting encryption for amateurs involved in RAYNET (Radio Amateurs’ Emergency Network) operations.

"The PSSR Statement gave 12 months’ notice that licences will be varied to remove these bands and set out our decision formally to vary individual licences so that the changes would become effective from April 2015," the report added.

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The consultation closes on 20 October 2014.

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