New technologies and new radio equipment intended for operation within the United Kingdom must be able to co-exist with licensed and licence-exempt users of the radio spectrum. This necessity is bound by the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 to ensure all transmitting equipment does not unnecessarily pollute the electro-magnetic spectrum and cause harmful interference to other users.
Ofcom, through the Technology team, supports the compatibility, testing and compliance of new radio technologies with existing radio equipment. This work is supported by Ofcom’s external partner, ERA Technology, who are commissioned to conduct any radio frequency measurements. The work is initiated from specific needs and requirements originating within the radio industry where it is viewed that potential significant incompatibility of radio systems could exist. Projects are considered based on their relevance to the interests of the citizen-consumers, as well as with the overall efficiency in use of the radio spectrum.
Ofcom also initiates studies to examine radio equipment compliance testing. It is the role of Ofcom’s enforcement team to search for radio equipment that is operated illegally within the UK. Any seized radio equipment is sent to ERA Technology to determine whether it is within authorised limits. If the equipment is found to be non-compliant further action is taken by Ofcom against the perpetrator.