Report: Future use of Licence Exempt Radio Spectrum

The UK Spectrum Policy Forum, the industry-led sounding board to Government and Ofcom, has launched the report 'Future use of Licence Exempt Radio Spectrum'

Title page

This report presents the findings of a study commissioned from Plum Consulting for the UK Spectrum Policy Forum to assess the current and future use of frequency bands which may be used by licence exempt wireless applications in the UK and Europe.

Its main purpose was to identify any actions that may need to be taken to maintain the economic value of licence exempt bands and to ensure equitable co-existence between new and existing licence exempt technologies and applications.

The FULL REPORT is available to download by completing the form at the bottom of this page.

The UK Spectrum Policy Forum's recommendations for the future use of Licence Exempt Radio Spectrum are available here


The key findings identified by this report are:

  • Licence Exempt bands serve a diverse market and provide large economic and social benefits
        • Applications include wireless access (Wi-Fi), RFID, medical devices, audio / video links, alarm systems and a growing range of M2M uses
  • International Harmonisation is particularly important for free circulation and economies of scale
      • But not all European bands are fully harmonized, especially below 1 GHz
  • Effective interference mitigation is key to facilitating co-existence in LE bands
      • Hence need for LTE to adopt Wi-Fi style "politeness protocols" (LBT / DFS) in 5 GHz
      • Legacy "impolite" technologies adversely affect some bands – e.g. 2.4 GHz video links
      • Inadequate receiver performance makes some devices vulnerable to new services in adjacent bands
  • Main growth areas are Wireless Access and M2M
      • Need to ensure sufficient long term spectrum to support demand growth

To find out more about work of the UK Spectrum Policy Forum, please get in touch with Skye MacLeod:

Download the FULL REPORT here:

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UK_SPF Report on Future use of Licence Exempt Radio... (pdf)


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