Telecom regulator Ofcom has begun its consultation on the usage of spectrum for the Internet of Things (IoT).


Ofcom is looking to encourage investment and innovation in the IoT and M2M (Machine to Machine) technology by using 10MHz of the existing radio spectrum for new applications. Telecom industry stakeholders expect the rolling of out 5G sometime around 2020 will boost IoT business considerably.

In a statement, Ofcom said its aim was to encourage M2M applications to use spectrum which would enable them to connect wirelessly over longer distances. This VHF spectrum has different properties to other frequencies already in use for the IoT and can reach distant locations which other frequencies may not be able to.

Ofcom said it believed access to spectrum in this range could open up new opportunities and bring benefits to both British residents and telecoms consumers alike, especially those living in remote and rural parts of the UK. The frequencies being made available spam the 55-68MHz, 70.5-71.5Mhz and 80-81.5Mhz bands.

The watchdog is also seeking views on whether any changes to the existing licence products are necessary in order to promote innovations in uses within these bands, especially for serving rural and remote locations.

There are already more than 40 million devices connected via the IoT in the UK alone – this includes things like smart watches, fitness apps etc. The is forecast to grow by more than eight-fold up to 2022, with hundreds of millions of devices carrying out more than a billion daily data transactions.

The consultation on IoT closes on November 12, 2015. To take part in the consultation visit the Ofcom information page here.

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