Statements: Implementing the Commission Decision on Short Range Devices and Ofcom’s Decision on mobile phone repeaters

  • Start: 23 November 2017
  • Status: Statement published
  • End: 24 December 2017

These statements set out Ofcom’s decisions to make new regulations by statutory instruments. The regulations amend the existing Wireless Telegraphy licence exemption criteria for short range devices (SRDs) and certain low powered mobile phone repeaters provided they meet the required technical standards and conditions of use.

Every day, most of us use an SRD. These range from car key-fobs and baby monitors to garage door openers and Wi-Fi systems. The regulations implement a decision by the European Commission that harmonises the frequencies and technical parameters for these devices across Europe, and enable people to use various kinds of SRDs in the UK without a licence.

Mobile phone repeaters amplify signals between a mobile phone and the network operators’ base stations offering, in certain circumstances, improved mobile reception for the user. The regulations also implement the decision Ofcom made in October 2017 to allow use of the following two categories of repeaters without need for a licence:

  • Static mobile phone repeaters for indoor use (where complying with specified requirements); and
  • Low gain mobile phone repeaters for in-vehicle use (again where complying with specified requirements).

Earlier generations of wideband repeaters are unlikely to meet these requirements and their unlicensed installation and use will remain illegal.

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