Commercial multi-user gateway review

  • Start: 16 December 2016
  • Status: Statement published
  • End: 10 February 2017

On 25 September 2017 the Government issued a direction to Ofcom concerning the authorisation of commercial multi-user gateways (COMUGs) used for the purpose of voice calls over a publicly available telephone service or SMS. The direction made under section 5 of the Communications Act 2003, which was made on national security grounds, required that these commercial multi-user gateways could only be authorised by a Wireless Telegraphy Act licence and only in such cases where specific conditions, as outlined in the direction could be met.

In light of the direction, Ofcom did not make the regulations contained in our document “Commercial Multi User Gateway Review Notice of proposed regulations Statement & Notice” (PDF, 1018.1 KB) published on 6 July 2017.

On 8 March 2023, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment on the Government’s appeal against the Court of Appeal’s judgment that had found the Government’s direction of 25 September 2017 to be unlawful. The Supreme Court allowed the Government’s appeal and found the Government had not acted unlawfully in making the direction. The direction therefore remains in force and, in accordance with the direction and Ofcom’s duties under s.5 of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom will not be making licence exemption regulations under s.8 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 relating to use of commercial multi-user gateways.

Main documents

Supporting documents

loading icon


Responder name Type
Anthony Lloyd-Weston (PDF File, 94.2 KB) Organisation
Anthony Lloyd-Weston (response to statement) (PDF File, 335.4 KB) Organisation
Daniel Mahony.pdf (PDF File, 205.6 KB) Organisation
David O'Reilly.pdf (PDF File, 122.0 KB) Organisation
EE Limited's response _Non_confidential.pdf (PDF File, 308.1 KB) Organisation
Load more