The Interactive Spectrum Map is an easy way to browse and search how different spectrum bands are used in the United Kingdom from 8.3 kHz to 275 GHz. The aim is to provide some relatively simple visual representations of spectrum use. reflecting the information already available on the Ofcom website: in the UK Plan for Frequency Authorisation (UK PFA) for spectrum we authorise, and in the UK Frequency Allocation Table (UK FAT) for spectrum which is not authorised by Ofcom. It does not show how the bands are allocated to the various radiocommunication services. Allocations to services are shown in the UK FAT e.g. FIXED, MOBILE.
The Interactive Spectrum Map provides a comprehensive view of the access to spectrum in UK on a band by band basis. It includes information on all spectrum authorised for use by Ofcom and provides additional information relating to the specific products applicable to that particular spectrum. In addition, it provides information on spectrum not authorised for use by Ofcom but used by Government on both a Primary and Secondary basis e.g. Space and Science.
The Interactive Spectrum Map includes information on primary and secondary uses of spectrum, even when that use is not authorised by Ofcom. There are a number of examples where showing information on primary and secondary uses of spectrum is useful including where government uses spectrum for Science services (both space and terrestrial).
You can select a frequency range by using the drop down options or customise the search to a particular area. You can complete an individual search by inputting the "to" and "from" frequency, select whether it is kHz, MHz or GHz and select search. You can filter the results to remove the areas you are not interested in by unchecking the box next to the sector on the legend.
Results from spectrum selections are shown graphically. The sectors are indicated by different colours and the legend provides information on this. To use the Interactive Spectrum Map move the pointer over a frequency and it will describe what the actual use is below each map.
To view the information as a table select the "view as table" tab under each map.
You can print the map, table or both by selecting the appropriate option above each map.
The date of the last update of the information can be found at the top right hand area of the page. The data is refreshed from time-to-time to reflect changes to the authorisation of the spectrum or where Ofcom has further refined the data.
The two main sources of information are the UK Frequency Allocation Table (UK FAT) and the UK Plan for Frequency Authorisation (UK PFA), both already available on the Ofcom website.
The UK FAT is maintained on behalf of the government’s UK Spectrum Strategy Committee and is a key source for this work in several respects as it provides information on spectrum access and uses including those that are not authorised by Ofcom.
The UK PFA provides details on the frequencies authorised for use by Ofcom. It includes a list of all licence types, whether they are available for assignment, the basis on which the licences are or have been assigned, and whether or not they can be traded, it also includes all exemptions products.
We have mapped access to spectrum against specific sectors to provide an high level indication to the type of access/use in the band. Detailed below is how we have provided grouped information under each sector.
Amateur – this covers the frequencies authorised for Amateur radio used, both terrestrial and satellite.
Mobile and Wireless Broadband – spectrum bands in which mobile or wireless broadband use is authorised. This category is primarily Block Assigned licences where the technical conditions lend themselves, in our view, to mobile or wireless broadband use although the actual licence may be on a technology neutral basis.
Fixed Links – spectrum bands that have Fixed Links authorised for use. This includes Block Assigned bands where the technical licence conditions imply, in our view, that they are primarily likely to be used for Fixed Links. This category also includes bands where Fixed Links are licensed but the band is closed to new link assignments and the licence-exempt 57 to 64 GHz band.
Programme making and special events (PMSE) – primarily providing time limited access to spectrum for the use by wireless cameras and microphones, and other PMSE applications.
Licence exempt – Licence exempt use of spectrum was primarily identified through the licence exemption regulation.
Business Radio – spectrum bands where business radio uses are authorised. This category does not include emergency services use (in Public sector use), nor scanning telemetry in UHF bands (in fixed links).
Maritime – spectrum bands that have maritime uses authorised including ships and maritime radar use. Maritime Navigational Aids and Radar, Costal Stations Radio (various), Differential Global Positioning System, Maritime Radio (Suppliers and Demonstration), AIS (Automatic Identification Systems) and ships: portable and radio. Maritime Mobile Satellite Service spectrum access is also included under this heading.
Broadcasting – this covers use of spectrum by terrestrial broadcasting of radio and TV
Aeronautical – this covers all civil aeronautical services both ground station, radar and onboard aircraft. Aeronautical Mobile Satellite Service spectrum access for both en-route and off-route uses is captured under the heading of Satellite services.
Public sector – this sector encompasses the majority of the spectrum used for government’s services including, defence, military, policing and the emergency services.
Satellite – spectrum bands that have a Satellite Fixed, Mobile or Broadcasting use authorised, including the licence exempt uses of MSS. It also includes Global Navigation Satellite Services and HDFSS.
Space science – Space science allocations are identified in the FAT. The Interactive Spectrum Map includes both space and terrestrial inter alia radio astronomy, Earth Exploration Satellite Services, Met Aids, Met Sat., radiosondes, standard time and frequency services and other directly associated radiocommunications services such as Space Research and Space Operations. Both primary and secondary uses are included to fully reflect the UK FAT allocations, but these should only be used in the context of analysing allocations.
The Spectrum Map on the whole provides a comprehensive view of spectrum in the UK. However, there are a couple of services which we have not included in the map. These have been excluded as we believe that it would distort the picture, giving a false impression of the sectors use of the spectrum. The services excluded and the reason why is detailed below:
spectrum to which access is permitted for Ultra-wideband (UWB) services as this provides access to very wide spectrum bands for uses that operate under the radio noise floor;
all receivers, with the exception of Space Science, as they are authorised under an authorisation covering all bands;
bands that were authorised for use by handset terminals as the conditions of the exemption usually require these to be connected to a licensed network so as not to "double count" this use. The only exception to this was in the bands used by Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) which are not authorised by us and thus if we had excluded the licence exempt MSS handsets we would not have reflected MSS use of these bands;
Ground Probing Radar (GPR) as these use a large amount of spectrum but are used only to detect underground objects. They must be in contact with the ground and for this reason we decide it was not appropriate to include them; and
Non-operational licences as these are temporary licences assigned for research, development and demonstration purposes that could used in any frequency range.