Working arrangements

The purpose of the Spectrum Policy Forum is to be a pro-active industry-led ‘sounding board’ to UK Government and Ofcom on future policy and approaches on spectrum and a cross-industry ‘agent’ for promoting the role of spectrum in society and the maximisation of its economic and social value to the UK.

The Forum is open to the full range of UK spectrum users. Our members currently include over 240 companies and organisations with an interest in using spectrum for a diverse range of applications. In this context the term 'spectrum users' is to be interpreted in the widest sense - including all industry sectors which use (or will use) wireless techniques and organisations involved in the entire value chain in these activities.

Find out how you can get involved:

Purpose of the Spectrum Policy Forum – Plenary

The Plenary and individual Cluster Groups will be open to all users of spectrum with the aim of promoting mutual understanding and collaboration across a full range of spectrum interests. The purpose of the plenary and cluster groups is to:

  • build a shared and factually based understanding of "over the horizon" spectrum opportunities and threats (typically beyond 2020 timescales)
  • to work together to identify the key issues which need to be resolved, including policy initiative, implementation plans and future changes to UK or international regulations which will enable spectrum-users to make the most of the opportunities and to minimise the threats
  • review and debate key deliverables and recommendations from the work of the four SPF Cluster Groups, including external studies

We will do this by:

  • Discussing in plenary and cluster group meetings, and online forums
  • Commissioning expert advice
  • Engaging with Government to ensure Ministers have clear evidence to support action on issues identified by the SPF, and to inform Ministers on the implementation of the UK Spectrum Strategy
  • Engaging with Government as the positions for WRC-23, and subsequent WRCs, develop
  • Engaging with Ofcom to help inform their implementation of the Ofcom Spectrum Management Strategy within the UK Spectrum Strategy

Purpose of the Spectrum Policy Forum – Steering Board

Steering Board is composed primarily of volunteer sponsoring companies drawn from across the range of spectrum users, as well as senior Government and Ofcom representatives. The industrial sponsors also provide funding for the operation of the Forum to

  • identify where expert advice is needed to inform priority issues then commission, fund and manage this end-to-end
  • maintain a strategy on behalf of the wider Spectrum Policy Forum, and account for what is being achieved
  • develop and deliver coherent messages to Government, Ofcom and key decision makers on priority issues
  • develop the SPF work programme, addressing in context of known agendas of international bodies, to influence spectrum management decisions, working via Government and Ofcom and use

In addition to Plenary meetings of the Forum, more detailed discussions are undertaken by four working groups. These meetings are held under Chatham House Rule to enable cross-industry collaborative discussion. "When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed."

UK Spectrum Policy Forum - Cluster 1: Future Spectrum Demand

Cluster 1 of the UK Spectrum Policy Forum is focused on discussing the impact of new services and technologies on future spectrum demand, and the continued availability of spectrum, across all users of spectrum. The cluster is chaired by Saul Friedner who otherwise works at LS Telcom.

UK Spectrum Policy Forum - Cluster 2: Spectrum Access and Sharing

Cluster 2’s remit is to expand on spectrum access mechanisms and look at future spectrum requirements and sharing mechanisms. The group focuses on spectrum sharing issues that are DCMS priorities and where they seek our advice, and turn these into projects with deliverables. Professor Stephen Temple from University of Surrey 5G IC is chair of Cluster 2.

UK Spectrum Policy Forum - Cluster 3: Spectrum Value and Efficiency

Cluster 3's remit is to discuss spectrum value and efficiency. Its focus is the contribution of spectrum to growth in UK economic and social welfare, and increasing spectrum efficiency through more effective transmitter and receiver parameters. The cluster is chaired by Tony Lavender of Plum Consulting who is also the UK SPF Steering Board Chair.

UK Spectrum Policy Forum - Cluster 4: International Spectrum Issues

Cluster 4 is chaired by Kumar Singarajah. It focuses on international developments in spectrum policy, in the EU, CEPT and the ITU, and their potential impact on UK. It aims to provide a consolidated input to Ofcom and DCMS on the views and recommendations of UK stakeholders. The Cluster focuses on the main international events affecting spectrum, predominately different agenda items of WRC-23.

The work of the clusters will be undertaken, in between plenary meetings, by correspondence and/or physical meetings as seen fit by cluster leader and members. Clusters will report back on its work at the subsequent plenary meeting of the Forum.

An independent chairperson has been appointed to act as a high level ambassador for its outputs. Members of the Forum will contribute their time and efforts on a voluntary basis and on behalf of their organisations. The secretariat functions for the Forum will be provided by techUK.

There may be rare cases when a piece of work, such as by an individual cluster, needs an accelerated approval process; such as the government posed a question to the cluster with a deadline. In this case the piece will be sent solely to the Steering Board for approval and not the whole UK SPF.