Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ofcom | UWB licence-exempt

Ofcom | UWB licence-exempt:

Ofcom | Press release | 09|08|07 | Enabling new wireless technologies in the UK

Ofcom today announced a change to the law to enable the use of a new technology that wirelessly connects digital devices in the home.

From 13 August 2007 Ofcom will remove the requirement to hold a licence to operate equipment using approved Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology. UWB allows the transfer of large amounts of data (up to 2 Gb/s) over relatively short distances (around 30 metres).

The technology could promote the convergence of communications devices and services by, for example, connecting personal computers, DVD players, portable music players and digital cameras without the need for wires. In addition, research has shown that devices that transfer data using UWB equipment use low power technologies which can enhance battery life compared with other wireless technologies.

UWB equipment is already exempt from the need to hold a licence in the US and Japan, and technology companies have started to develop and sell UWB products – such as UWB home hubs – for these markets.

UWB equipment will be made licence-exempt in the UK though the introduction of the Wireless Telegraphy (Ultra-Wideband Equipment) (Exemption) Regulations 2007, which will come into force on 13 August. Ofcom has participated in European negotiations to develop a common set of technical standards for UWB. Over the coming months, other EU members are expected to introduce the necessary legislation to allow approved UWB equipment to be used without a licence in their countries.

Ofcom’s Chief Executive, Ed Richards, said: “Radio spectrum is an essential raw material in the development of converged communications services. Where possible, we want to remove restrictions on the use of spectrum to allow the market to develop new and innovative services – such as UWB – for the benefit of consumers.”

The full statement can be found at:



1. UWB equipment operates in bands between 3.1 to 10.6 GHz.

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