January 31, 2023

Ofcom defines the future of wireless technology

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UK communications regulator Ofcom has presented proposals to unlock innovative new wireless technologies for everyday use, as well as to make services faster, more reliable and more secure.

First, he is consulting on changes to the rules for short-range devices (SRDs). Typically, these devices are consumer wearable consumer technology products and include keyless entry cards, baby monitors, and garage door openers.

Under its proposals, Ofcom intends to increase the amount of spectrum available for SRD uses, including road safety, low-power Wi-Fi and drones.

its plans also include liberalizing the technical conditions of certain ultra-wideband (UWB) devices for car keyless entry systems. This will enable the use of a special mitigation technology called “trigger before transmission”, which, in turn, will make keyless entry systems more secure and reduce the risk of opportunistic thefts, or “relay attacks”, where the criminals intercept the key. signal fob.

Ofcom is also consulting on plans to open up millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum on the 26 GHz and 40 GHz spectrum bands to mobile technology, including 5G services.

The mmWave spectrum could offer significant benefits by enabling large wireless data capacity and high speed over short distances. The technology can be used to improve mobile broadband services and deliver innovative new services across the UK.

This could be particularly beneficial in locations and venues with many mobile users, such as train stations, football stadiums and concerts, where demands on current networks can mean mobile data speeds can be slow.

In addition to mobile services, the millimeter wave spectrum could, in the future, also support innovative wireless applications requiring large amounts of data, very high speeds, or both. Early indications from the mobile industry suggest this could include applications such as virtual reality, factory automation and intelligent transportation systems.

Ofcom is seeking advice on how to make spectrum available. It proposes to revoke fixed link licenses in certain areas and make available a combination of citywide and local licenses in the 26 GHz band. It also set out a range of options for the 40 GHz band, including modifying or revoking existing licenses.

Ofcom invites responses to its SRD proposals by July 4, 2022 and its mmWave consultation by July 18, 2022.

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