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Implementing Geolocation - Summary of consultation responses and next steps

Statement published 01|09|11

White space devices and implementation of geolocation databases

1.1 The term white space (or interleaved) spectrum describes a range of frequencies that are not in use by the licensee all of the time at all locations. A white space device (WSD or devices) can make use of those frequencies provided interference is not caused to the licensed users of the spectrum.

1.2 Location-aware wireless devices coupled with a central database of spectrum usage in different locations offer the promise of being able to access, in an opportunistic way, underutilised frequency bands around the United Kingdom for innovative and useful services.

1.3 This document summarises our approach to implementing the geolocation method to allow licence exempt wireless devices to access TV white space (TVWS) spectrum , based on the responses to our consultation of November 2010 (the "November 2010 Consultation").

1.4 In our November 2010 Consultation we said that, subject to the responses, Ofcom would need to:

  • Consult on and later publish a Statutory Instrument (SI) exempting appropriate devices from the need to be covered by a Wireless Telegraphy Act licence;
  • Make arrangements to enable information about licensed services in the relevant spectrum to be made available to a database; and
  • Specify requirements to be met by geolocation database(s) and their providers that wish to be accredited by Ofcom and listed on our website.

1.5 We have now considered responses to the November 2010 Consultation carefully and have decided that these are the appropriate next steps. This statement presents our considerations in reaching these decisions and conveys further detail on how we will work to achieve them.

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