Changing the law to allow the use of low power transmitters for MP3 players
Posted by offcom on 5 Oct 2006

Ofcom today published draft regulations that, when implemented, would legalise the use of low power FM transmitters, which can be used to connect MP3 players and other personal audio devices wirelessly to radios and in-car entertainment systems.

Low power FM radio transmitters such as the �iTrip� are currently illegal to use in the UK and continental Europe because of the potential to cause interference to broadcast services. However, Ofcom is responding to consumer demand for the use of these devices and has led negotiations in Europe to develop a harmonised approach which will minimise the risk of interference.

Today�s announcement follows a 10 week public consultation; draft amendments to the Wireless Telegraphy Exemption Regulations 2003 required to implement this change will be open for a further four weeks� consultation. Subject to consideration of the responses, Ofcom intends to bring the new regulations into force in early December 2006.

The publication of the draft regulations is part of Ofcom�s overall approach to reducing the regulatory burden on stakeholders while encouraging the innovative use of the UK�s finite spectrum resource.

CB radio and low power devices

As well as allowing the use of low power FM transmitters, the draft regulations propose to deregulate Citizens� Band services, allowing around 20,000 licensees to use short-range transmitters without the administrative and cost burden of an Ofcom licence.

The draft regulations will also make more spectrum available to meet consumer demand for other low power devices such as hearing aids, walkie-talkies, alarms systems, tracking and tracing systems and meter reading devices. Under the proposals, these will be able to operate in the 169.4 -169.8125 MHz band.

The deadline for responses to the draft regulations is 6 November and the full document can be found at:


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