Short Range Devices Information Sheet

20 July 2010

Short Range Device (SRD) is a general term applied to various radio devices designed to operate usually on a licence-exempt basis, over short range and at low power levels. SRDs are not permitted to be used airborne, unless otherwise stated in Interface Requirement 2030 (IR2030) and are only permitted to operate on a non-protected/non-interference basis.

For a full list of devices covered by this information sheet, and the parameters they must operate within, see IR2030 (PDF, 921.8 KB).

Why have most SRDs been exempted from licensing?

After technical analysis it has been considered that certain categories of devices present a low capacity to cause harmful interference to other users of the radio spectrum. See further information on the UK regulations governing the use of SRDs.

However, some SRDs need to be licensed, where additional restrictions are needed to protect other radio communications services. These include radars and microphones. See further information on licensed SRDs.

UK Radio Interface Requirements

These documents, published by Ofcom, specify the conditions under which various categories of radio equipment can be used.

IR2030 (PDF, 921.8 KB) contains the conditions for use of SRDs which are exempt from licensing. See a full list of Interface Requirements, see Spectrum information.

Radio frequency interference

SRDs operate in shared spectrum on a non-interference, not-protected basis. If you suspect that interference is caused by unauthorised transmissions you should report it to Ofcom. However, before contacting us, you should consult the documentation supplied with the device or contact the device manufacturer or supplier for advice. For more information, see our work on protecting and managing the airwaves.

Testing and development

If you wish to carry out technology development or testing involving SRDs equipment you should apply to Ofcom for a Non-Operational licence.

Equipment conformance

Manufacturers, importers or suppliers of radio or electrical apparatus are responsible for ensuring that it conforms to the applicable legislation before placing it on the market or put it into service in the UK (or in the European Economic Area).

Equipment standardisation

European Harmonised standards covering the spectrum aspects of SRDs are published by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). You can download individual standards free of charge from the ETSI website.

The ETSI is one of the European Standardisation Organisations (ESO) appointed by the European Commission to publish European Harmonised Standards for radio equipment.

European Harmonised Standards applied to equipment can provide a presumption that it complies with the European Directives, e.g. the Radio Equipment Directive.

ETSI has several internal technical groups involved in developing standards for SRDs. Find more information about SRDs on the ETSI website.

Spectrum harmonisation

The Conference of European Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) carries out technical analysis and publishes recommendation reports and decisions pertaining to the harmonisation of technical conditions for SRDs use across Europe. Some of these activities are carried out at the invitation of the European Commission to help develop binding EU harmonisation Decisions. They can also help ETSI in the development of equipment standards. The main groups covering SRDs within CEPT are the Short Range Device Maintenance Group (Frequency Management) and SE24 (Spectrum Engineering).

In 2006 the European Commission published Decision 2006/771/EC, published by the European Commission, harmonises the technical conditions for use of spectrum for a wide variety of short-range devices. The Decision has been amended since its publication to include new SRD applications. Find the Decision and its related amending Decisions on the European Commission’s website.

Further information

Enquiries about information given in this information sheet should be addressed to