Licence-exempt devices

Published: 25 October 2019
Last updated: 16 March 2023

Information on licence-exempt technologies and devices

24 GHz vehicle radar

24 GHz wideband vehicle radar regulations are set in accordance with the European commission Decision 2005/50/EC. These apparatus are only fitted to new vehicles. There are restrictions on the numbers of units that can come into service within the European Union. Coordination is required between vehicle manufacturers and administrations, for the use of these apparatus. No other use is permitted.

79 GHz vehicle radar

79 GHz Vehicle radar regulations are set in accordance with the European commission Decision 2004/545/EC.

Citizens Band (CB) radio

CB radio operates in the 27MHz band and is a short range radio service for both hobby and business use. It is designed to be used without the need to have any technical qualifications and not to cause interference to other radio users. Hence, only radios meeting certain specific requirements may be used.

Information on CB use in the UK.

Cordless telephony

Cordless telephones operate by the use of a low power radio link between handset and base station, which in turn is connected to the public telephone network.

High-density Fixed Satellite Applications (HDFSS)

HDFSS is a generic term for satellite technology designed to provide broadband internet and multi-media access. The exemption covers the frequency ranges 27.5 - 27.8185 GHz, 28.4545 - 28.8265 GHz and 29.4625 – 30 GHz and applies, typically, to small, ubiquitous satellite user terminals (earth stations) that transmit with a maximum radiated power of 50 dBW, in accordance with IR 2066.

Model control

Model Control devices are a specific category of SRD radio equipment that is used to remotely control the movement of models (principally miniature representations of vehicles) in the air, on land or over or under the water surface.

Information on Model Control use in the UK.

PMR446 (analogue and digital)

PMR446 equipment is mobile, short-range, simplex, peer-to-peer voice and / or data communication system. It provides a basic but effective radio service for both business and non-business users, and is ideal for providing communication over short distances (e.g. within office buildings, factories and building sites). An example of a PMR446 system is a ‘walkie-talkie’ handset. Information on Analogue and Digital PMR446 (PDF, 208.0 KB).

Radar level gauges

These devices, which are mainly used for measuring the contents of large containers at industrial sites, operate in the microwave bands at low power. A licence is, however, required for equipment operating in the 10.6 to 10.7 GHz band.

Ultra Wideband (UWB)

UWB is a generic term for technologies typically characterised by the emission of very low power radiation spread over a very large radio bandwidth (greater than 50MHz).

Short range devices (SRDs) are defined by the European Commission decision 2006/771/EC as "radio transmitters which provide either unidirectional or bidirectional communication and which transmit over a short distance at low power”.

SRDs typically share spectrum with other licensed users and in some frequency bands they also share with industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) apparatus. The technical parameters of SRDs have been set to ensure compatibility with the other users of the radio spectrum.

There are several frequency bands that have been made available to the non-specific category of SRD. These can be used for any application. Other frequency bands have been made available to several different specific categories of SRD including, medical, transport, RFID, model control, audio and radar SRDs.

See short range devices information sheet.

White spaces is the name given to parts of spectrum that are unused in a particular location and at a particular time. TV white spaces exist between airwaves primarily used for digital terrestrial TV broadcasting (470 MHz to 790 MHz). White space devices (WSDs) work by communicating their location and other characteristics to a white space database which will perform coexistence calculations and respond to the WSD with a set of operational parameters including the frequencies and maximum powers at which the WSD can transmit..

Licence exemption regulations for automatically configurable devices came into force in December 2015. More information can be found here on our dedicated TV white spaces pages.

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