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Ofcom Licensing

The majority of spectrum utilised by Fixed Wireless devices is licence exempt, however, there are some frequency ranges that require you to purchase a licence from Ofcom in order to operate devices that transmit in those frequencies.

There are currently two licences that cover spectrums utilised by Fixed Wireless devices. These are the "Lite Licence" for 5.8GHz Band C, the OFW368 Licence for 70/80Ghz and the EHF Licence for High-Powered 60GHz (40-55dBm EIRP).

As of May 2021,Ofcom has issued a General Notice of their intention for those in possession of radiocommunications licences to require compliance with international guidelines for limiting exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). You can read the General Notice here and you can find out more information about how to comply with these new rules here.


Lite Licence for 5.8GHz Band C

Band C for the 5.8GHz spectrum is used for long range PtP (Point to Point) or in some cases (PtMP) (Point to Multi-Point) wireless links. For example, backhaul connectivity between two locations.

The Ofcom licence for operating in this band carries an annual fee of £1 per terminal, with a minimum charge of £50. Ofcom will issue you with an invoice for your licence. If the total charge is below £5,000, it is recommended that you pay via credit/debit card on Ofcom's online payment page. For licences valued above £5,000, direct debit payments are recommended.

To apply for your licence, print off and fill in the application form and mail it to the following address:

Ofcom
FAO Spectrum Licensing
PO Box 1285
Warrington
WA1 9GL

Once you have applied for a licence, Ofcom will be supply you with the necessary login details for their online registration system. Please note that registration is compulsory for all 5.8 GHz terminals installed.


OFW368 Licence for 70/80Ghz Spectrum

The 73.375-75.875 GHz and 83.375-85.875 GHz bands (the ‘Self Co-ordinated 70/80 GHz’) bands are available in the UK under a light licensed self coordinated process for point to point fixed wireless applications. Currently, the Self Co-ordinated 70/80 GHz bands are administered under interim licensing and link registration processes. A licence does not authorise operation until a link is registered. To operate a link, a licensee must first self coordinate and then register their link through the Ofcom link registration process and that link must have a valid entry on the 70/80 GHz section of Ofcom’s Wireless Telegraphy Register (the “Register”).

The licence fee is £50 which includes the charge for registration of the first link for the first year of the licence. Any further links registered by the licensee will be charged at £50 per link per year.

To apply for an OFW368 Licence, print off and fill in the application form and mail it to the following address:

Ofcom
FAO Spectrum Licensing
PO Box 1285
Warrington
WA1 9GL

Once you have received your licence, you can register your licence using the OFW383 Form.


EHF Licence for High-Powered 60Ghz

The majority of 60GHz devices sold by MS (Distribution) UK Ltd have an EIRP between 40-55dBm, and require an EHF Licence to operate. Unlike "Lite Licences", a single EHF licence covers unlimited installations within the selected frequency range (in this case, 57-71GHz).

The EHF Licence costs £75 and requires renewal every 5 years. You can find out more information in Ofcom's Licensing Guidance Document.

To apply for an EHF licence, complete the application form and click the "Submit Form" button at the bottom of the last page. Alternatively, you can email the form to [email protected] or print it off and post it to the following address:

Ofcom
FAO Spectrum Licensing
PO Box 1285
Warrington
WA1 9GL