Ofcom outlines plans to support IoT

Ofcom has laid out a strategy designed to ensure that the UK plays a leading role in developing the Internet of Things (IoT).

The UK regulator said it wants to create a regulatory environment which will foster investment and innovation in IoT.

The plan – a response to a consultation launched last year – will address four key areas including data privacy, spectrum availability, network security and resilience, and network addresses. 

In the area of spectrum availability to IoT, Ofcom last year made frequencies available in the 870/915MHz bands and liberalised licence conditions for existing mobile bands. It said some IoT devices could use utilise the 2.4 and 5GHz bands, which are used by a range of services, including Wi-Fi. The regulator added that as the IoT sector develops, there may be a need for additional spectrum in the longer term, in particular below 1GHz. 

Ofcom said it will be working closely with government, other regulators and industry to remove any unnecessary barriers to the IoT’s development.

“The Internet of Things will bring benefits to a range of sectors and could change the way we live our lives,” said Steve Unger, acting Ofcom chief executive. “As a result of this growth, we have listened closely to industry and want to develop a framework for this technology to evolve in a way which will ultimately benefit citizens and consumers.”