Going wireless is the future?

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Ofcom, the independent regulator for the UK communications industry has launched a consultation on the use of the VHF spectrum by the Internet of Things (IoT). The aim of the consultation is to encourage investment and innovation by identifying ways in which using the VHF spectrum by the Internet of Things could deliver valuable new services for the benefit of UK businesses and consumers.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The internet of things is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity, enabling these object to collect and exchange data.

Currently there are more than 40 million devices connected via the IoT in the UK and this is forecasted to grow more than eight fold by 2020 with hundreds of millions of devices carrying out more than a billion data transactions daily.

Through access to the radio spectrum these devices (machine to machine applications) can make a wireless connection to carry out data transactions.

Some of the opportunities identified by Ofcom where we could see innovation is wirelessly connected ‘smart’ farming, coastal/maritime applications, land and agriculture applications and new energy sources.

VHF Spectrum

At present IoT devices already have access to VHF bands, through existing Ofcom licenced products. However, these could be exploited further through investment and innovation. Ofcom highlights that using the VHF spectrum can be especially beneficial to reach remote areas and rural locations. Some companies are already using it in telemetering and rail transport.

Following the consultation, Ofcom will consider whether it needs to change its licence products.

Forbes Solicitors advises businesses on a range of issues relating to complying with regulatory requirements when using innovative approaches. If you have any questions, please contact Daniel Milnes.

Nat Avdiu

About Nat Avdiu

Nat Avdiu is a Paralegal in the Contracts and Projects team at Forbes Solicitors. Nat provides updates for clients on a range of issues including: governance, data protection and freedom of information, procurement and charity law.
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