'White spaces' are gaps in the radio spectrum in frequency bands, which can be used to offer wireless applications. These can bring benefits to citizens and consumers.
While most white space devices are expected to operate on a licence exempt basis in the future, many do not currently meet Ofcom’s requirements for licence exemption and require manual configuration by the user.
This decision means these manually configurable devices can be licensed on a transitional basis, while equipment which meets Ofcom’s licence exemption regulations is developed. Ofcom intends to review whether a licensing regime is still required by the end of 2018.
Ofcom’s view is that allowing this would enable the deployment of white space devices to begin sooner in the UK and would therefore bring benefits to citizens and consumers earlier than would otherwise be the case.
This work follows a recent statement allowing white space devices that are able to operate automatically and without any manual configuration to operate in the UHF TV band on a licence exempt basis.