Business radio rules simplified

Ofcom is making it easier for companies to run their own private communications networks

Businesses looking to set up a private communications network should find the process easier from next year, when the licensing process will be significantly restructured.

Ofcom announced on Wednesday that it had decided to simplify the number of business radio licence classes from 21 to just three, with five different licences on offer. Businesses will also be able to change use of their licences and trade them.

A spokesperson for the telecommunications regulator told ZDNet UK on Friday that the move was part of Ofcom's general approach to spectrum management, which they described as being based on a "deregulatory approach".

"The idea is to introduce more flexibility," said the spokesperson, describing the current system as "complex and clunky" and adding that around 35,000 of the current 50,000 business radio licensees will be able to trade licences under the new regime.

The new system, which will come into effect from early 2008, could affect a wide variety of businesses, ranging from cab and courier companies to energy and utility firms. However, Ofcom's spokesperson insisted that it would not have any implications outside the business radio sector.


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