Change to the law to allow the use of low power FM transmitters for MP3 players

23 November 2006

Ofcom today announced that the use of certain low power FM transmitters, which wirelessly connect MP3 players and other personal audio devices to radios and in-car entertainment systems, will be legal for use in the UK from 8 December 2006.

Equipment previously available carries a high risk of interference to other broadcast services. However, in response to consumer demand Ofcom has led negotiations in Europe to develop a harmonised technical approach designed to limit the potential of interference to other wireless devices.

The FM transmitters that meet these specifications, and which will be legal to use in the UK, will carry a CE mark indicating approval for sale in the European Union. Their use will be legalised under the Wireless Telegraphy (Exemption) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 which come into effect on 8 December. The regulations set out the technical specifications for FM transmitters.

Deregulation of CB radio and low power devices

The regulations will also remove the need for a Citizens' Band radio licence, reducing the administrative and cost burden for around 20,000 licensees using these short-range transmitters.

The regulations also make more spectrum available to meet consumer demand for other low power devices such as hearing aids, alarms systems, tracking and tracing systems and meter reading devices operating in the 169.4 -169.8125 MHz band.

The full Statement can be found at: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/exemption/statement/

The Wireless Telegraphy (Exemption) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 can be found at: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/radiocomms/isu/licence_exempt/regulations/

Updated information on CB Radio use can be found at: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/radiocomms/ifi/licensing/classes/citizen/information/

Ends.