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.

Update 14 January 2021: Government application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court

The Government has filed an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal’s judgment finding the Government’s direction of 25 September 2017 to be unlawful. The Government has also applied for the High Court order of 13 May 2019 quashing the Direction to remain suspended pending the Supreme Court’s determination of their application for permission to appeal, and, in the event their application for permission is granted, until the Supreme Court’s determination of the appeal.

In light of this, for the time being Ofcom will not be taking action to issue any licence exemption regulations under s.8 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006. We will be keeping the position under review to ensure that Ofcom continues to act appropriately.

Main documents

Supporting documents

loading icon


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