Ofcom is to create a new category of spectrum licence specifically for the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.
The regulator said that it is aiming to encourage investment and innovation in the IoT by providing access to spectrum so that products and services can be connected wirelessly.
Ofcom published a consultation on the use of 55-68MHz, 70.5-71.5MHz and 80.0-81.5MHz for IoT services and M2M applications in September.
The watchdog wanted to know whether these very high frequency (VHF) bands were suitable for delivering IoT services in remote and rural areas, and to assess whether wide exploitation of these frequencies could be accommodated without affecting existing spectrum users.
Ofcom concluded after taking account of the views of stakeholders that spectrum in the VHF ranges is suitable for IoT/M2M applications and that those uses can be accommodated without adversely affecting other users.
Ofcom also wanted to address what it deemed a "misconception" that its existing Business Radio licence products were designed for voice-only communications, and are therefore unsuitable for M2M/IoT applications.
To tackle this, Ofcom will launch a new licence product later this year that will replace existing Business Radio products and make specific provision for M2M/IoT applications.
Ofcom will also launch a dedicated information and application web page for those seeking spectrum access for the IoT which it believes will "clarify the wide range of spectrum currently available to facilitate the IoT".
The regulator said that it does not currently consider spectrum availability to be a barrier to the development of the IoT in the short to medium term.
"The low data rates typical of the majority of emerging IoT applications mean that they can be supported in existing allocations and bands like those at VHF," Ofcom said.
Want to know how the IoT can help your enterprise? Sign up to V3 sister site Computing's Internet of Things Business Summit 2016. It's free for qualifying end users.
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