UK Telecommunications and broadcasting regulator Ofcom, has announced measures to help ensure adequate spectrum is available for the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), and to encourage investment and innovation in this developing technology.
Ofcom is allocating 10 MHz of VHF spectrum which will enable certain IoT devices to connect wirelessly over long distances. Access to spectrum in this range could open new opportunities and bring benefits to consumers, especially those in remote and rural parts of the UK. The frequencies being made available span the 55-68 MHz, 70.5-71.5 MHz and 80.5-81.5 MHz bands.
These frequencies could be used by Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications to enable wireless operation over long distances and will help deliver valuable new services for the benefit UK consumers and businesses. The allocation will boost innovation across a number of different verticals including: agriculture, smart farming and an array of coastal and maritime industries.
According to the regulator, there are already more than 40 million devices connected via the IoT in the UK alone. This is forecast to grow more than eight-fold by 2022, with hundreds of millions of devices carrying out more than a billion daily data transactions.
The news follows the regulator’s release of a consultation document in September 2015, which invited stakeholders to comment on proposed changes the existing Business Radio licence to accommodate the IoT.