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Statement on the Authorisation of Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms

Statement 21 January 2014

Summary

1.1 In August 2013 Ofcom published a consultation(-1-) setting out proposals to authorise the use of Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms (ESOMPs). In this Statement, we summarise the responses to our consultation and set out our decisions to authorise the use of radio equipment for ESOMPs operating in the frequency bands:

  • 27.5 - 27.8185 GHz (transmit);
  • 28.4545 - 28.8265 GHz (transmit);
  • 29.4625 - 30 GHz (transmit);
  • 17.3 - 20.2 GHz (receive).

1.2 Respondents to the consultation expressed a range of views, but on balance they gave broad support to our key proposals. Having considered the responses, we have concluded that we will authorise the use of ESOMPs in the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man by implementing a regulatory approach that is broadly in line with the proposals set out in the consultation. Consequently we will:

  • Exempt land-based ESOMPs from the need to have a Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (‘WT Act’) licence;
  • Make licensing available for aircraft- and ship-mounted ESOMPs by accepting applications to vary Aircraft and Ship Radio licences respectively, with no additional fee(-2-).

1.3 Based on the responses received, we have decided to modify some of the technical and regulatory conditions upon which land-based, aircraft-mounted and ship-mounted ESOMPs are authorised. These changes, which are reflected in the updated draft Interface Requirement shown in Annex 2, can be summarised as follows:

  • To clarify that the authorisation framework applies to ESOMPs that operate to satellites in geostationary-satellite orbit (GSO);
  • Removal of the requirement to obtain prior permission for the operation of an ESOMP terminal within an airfield; and
  • To make reference to off-axis equivalent isotropically radiated power (e.i.r.p.) limits within the informative part of the draft Interface Requirement.

1.4 We expect to be able to accept applications to license ship-mounted ESOMPs by February 2014. We are working with the CAA (who issues WT Act licences for Aircraft on Ofcom’s behalf) to make licensing for aircraft-mounted ESOMPs available in a similar timeframe. Lastly, we intend to publish a notice of proposals to make regulations to implement our decision to exempt land-based ESOMPs from the need to have a WT Act licence in 2014. We expect the regulations covering the exemption from licensing for land-based ESOMPs to be in force by the summer of 2014.

Footnotes:

 1.-http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/earth-stations-mobile-platforms

 2.- Charging no fees is in line with current practice for Notice of Variation (NoV) to the Aircraft and Ship Radio licences.

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