Advanced Television

Ofcom amateur radio licensing changes

February 21, 2024

Ofcom has announced that amateur radio enthusiasts will enjoy greater operating freedoms under amateur radio licensing changes outlined by the media regulator.

Ofcom explained: “Last year, we set out how we planned to change amateur radio licences and policies, so they better meet the needs of current and future needs of the hobby. We received over 1,400 responses, and we would like to thank everyone who provided their input as part of this process. Following this, we published our General Notice of Proposals to vary all amateur radio licences in line with the proposed new terms and conditions. After carefully considering representations made in response to our December proposals, we have decided to proceed with amending the licence, with some modifications in light of the submissions we received”.

There are approximately 100,000 amateur radio licences currently issued by Ofcom in the UK. All of these are effectively varied as of today – meaning amateur radio enthusiasts can now operate under the new rules. The changes Ofcom are making to the licences include:

  • Updating the overall licensing framework. This includes allowing anyone to operate amateur radio equipment under a licensee’s supervision and making the process of getting and using a licence simpler and clearer.
  • Streamlining and modernising call sign assignment. This includes making the use of Regional Secondary Locators (RSL) optional, introducing the RSL ‘E’ for optional use by radio amateurs operating in England, and simplifying the license terms on the use of call sign suffixes.
  • Adjusting technical parameters. This includes increasing maximum power that radio amateurs are allowed to use in most frequency bands.
  • Providing clearer updated rules. This includes simplifying conditions to make them easier to understand and removing provisions not needed for spectrum management purposes.

Whilst the new rules apply immediately, Ofcom advises it will need to reissue all the licences and aim to complete this process by autumn 2024. Ofcom will shortly commence writing to licensees to provide each with their new licence document.

Categories: Articles, Broadcast, Digital Radio, Policy

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