UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom has opened a consultation on the possibility of
reserving 10 MHz of existing spectrum for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The idea behind the consultation beginning today (10 September 2015) is to encourage investment and innovation in IoT.
Ofcom’s aim is to encourage M2M applications to use spectrum that will enable them to connect wirelessly over longer distances. This VHF spectrum has different properties to other frequencies, already in use for the IoT, and can reach distant locations which other frequencies may not.
Ofcom believes access to spectrum in this range could open new opportunities and bring benefits to citizens and consumers, especially those in remote and rural parts of the UK. The frequencies being made available span the 55-68 MHz, 70.5-71.5 MHz and 80.0-81.5 MHz bands.
Ofcom is also seeking views on whether any changes to the existing licence products are necessary in order to promote innovative uses in these bands, especially for serving rural and remote locations.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to enable large numbers of previously unconnected devices to communicate and share data with one another via ‘Machine-to-Machine’ communications (M2M).
Ofcom noted that there are already more than 40 million devices connected via the IoT in the UK alone. This is forecast to grow more than eight-fold by 2022, with hundreds of millions of devices carrying out more than a billion daily data transactions.
Today’s consultation closes on 12 November 2015. The consultation paper can be found here: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/radio-spectrum-internet-of-things/