Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Opinion: licence exempt studies holds global lessons

Research commissioned by the UK regulator demonstrates the economic value of the unlicensed approach, says Robert Horvitz of the Open Spectrum Foundation

Since the adoption of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom has had a statutory obligation to exempt from licensing radio equipment whose use is unlikely to cause undue interference. No legal limit is set on the amount of spectrum used by such equipment, yet the 2005 Spectrum Framework Review (SFR) asserted that: "little additional spectrum will be needed in the foreseeable future [for license exempt use], growing to 7 per cent of the total spectrum... As a maximum, then, an additional 250MHz or so of spectrum might be needed for license-exempt use... Expanding beyond [this amount] would result in unused spectrum..."

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