Licence Exemption of Wireless Telegraphy Devices
1.1 On a daily basis most of us use a radio device that has been made exempt from the need to hold a Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (the WT Act) licence, be it a mobile phone, car key-fob or wireless router. Without exemption, the use of any of these devices would have required the user to hold a WT Act licence issued by Ofcom. As this would place an unnecessary burden on citizens and consumers we make the use of such devices (which we do not expect will interfere with the use of other radio equipment) licence exempt wherever possible. This document consults on proposals to make changes to the existing licence exemption authorisation for some devices in the UK.
1.2 Under section 8(1) of the WT Act, it is an offence to establish, install or use equipment to transmit without holding a licence granted by us, unless the use of such equipment is exempted by regulations. As technology develops we regularly review our exemption regulations to allow new devices (typically low power with a low risk of causing interference) to be made available on a licence-exempt basis or to amend the current provisions to take into account technology changes. This consultation proposes the following changes to the existing arrangements for licence exemption by:
- setting a date to close the 10.675 to 10.699 GHz band after which no new Short Range Device (SRD) devices will be able to be deployed. Equipment in use prior to the closure date will continue to be licence exempt. We are proposing to give industry 18 months notice of this decision; and
- extending the licence exemption for Mobile Satellite System (MSS) user terminals to include the 1518 to 1525 MHz, 1525 MHz to 1559 MHz, 1626.5 MHz to 1660.5 MHz and 1670 to 1675 MHz bands.
1.3 The analysis presented in this document represents an Impact Assessment, as defined in section 7 of the Communications Act 2003 (the Act). Further copies may be obtained from www.ofcom.org.uk or from Ofcom at Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA. Comments on the proposals outlined in this document are invited by 5pm 20 September 2012. We expect to release a Statement on this consultation in November 2012, having taken into account stakeholder responses to our proposals.
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