Ofcom: sharing factor increase scheduled for January

Vaughan John, head of business radio at Ofcom, said that the increase in the sharing factor for technically assigned business radio licences from two to three (a change to the Business Radio Technical Frequency Assignment Criteria) is expected to be implemented in January 2018

“…LS telcom has designed the change, tested it and it works. For it to go into our system, we must install Maintenance Release 16 (MR16), which is currently being tested, then it will go into pre-production for user acceptance testing (UAT), hopefully to go live before Christmas. Once that’s done, then we’ll be able to implement the change to the system to incorporate the increased sharing. That’s currently scheduled for January…. Assuming everything goes through and there’s no problems with UAT and other testing, then January is the objective.”

He added that the scheduled change to the system also will include the functionality to allow Ofcom to change the sharing factor from three to four without having to go back to LS telcom. John made his remarks at the during the Ofcom Business Radio Interest Group (BRIG) meeting that took place on 10 November.

In response, Tim Cull, the FCS’ head of business radio, recognised the amount of work involved, thanked Ofcom and noted the need for this change, given the spectral congestion in London and several other metropolitan areas, adding that “If it’s not an immediate gain of 50 per cent, it’s [one] of [around] 35 per cent, it’s still mana from heaven.”

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