Glossary of terms

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Second generation of mobile telephony systems using digital encoding. 2G networks support voice, limited data communications, such as short messaging service (SMS), and different levels of encryption. 2G networks worldwide include D-AMPS (TDMA) and CDMA, with GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) used in the UK.
Third generation of mobile systems. Provide high-speed data transmissions and higher supporting multimedia applications such as full-motion video, video conferencing and Internet access.
5.8 GHz Band C
Frequencies in the range 5725 to 5875GHz, which opened for use by broadband fixed wireless access services in late 2003, including Mesh Radio.
Authorisation given by licensing authority for a radio station to use a specific radio frequency or channel under specified conditions.
A recognised frequency range or a recognised group of frequency ranges where each range has a defined start and end frequency .
Base station
A radio transmitter and receiver installed by an operator to provide a communications service typically used in mobile telecommunications .
Common Base Stations
A single channel base station for PBR shared by users (also known as a community repeater); or a PBR installation giving wide area coverage under the control of one or more operators offering mobile communications on a commercial basis to a number of independent (usually business) users.
Communications Act
The Communications Act 2003, which came into force in December 2003.
Competition Act (CA)
The Competition Act 1988, which repeals much of the earlier competition legislation in the UK .
Data Networks
A network established and operated for the specific purpose of providing data transmission services for the public.
Digital Terrestrial Television.
Earth station
Centre for communicating by radio with a space satellite.
Fixed Links
Communications links between fixed points. Such links may be unidirectional or bidirectional, and may be point-to-point or point-to-multipoint.
Frequency Range
Any formally recognised division of the radio spectrum defined in terms of a start and end frequency (or centre frequency and bandwidth).
Fixed Wireless Access: radio link to the home or the office from a cell site or base station, replacing the traditional local loop.
GigaHertz, a frequency of one thousand million Hertz (cycles per second).
Global System for Mobile communications. The international operating standard for the second generation of digital cellular mobile communications.
A formal authorisation under section 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 for a customer to use radio equipment under certain restrictions
A person or organisation to whom a licence is issued.
Licence class
Type of licence issued by Ofcom, for example PAMR or Wide are PBR. Volume classes refer to those licence classes for which there are significant numbers of licensees, for example on site PBR with 26,000 licensees and on-board maritime with 64,500.
Map Square
Geographic area defined by a series of easting and northing coordinates.
MHz (Megaherz)
A million Hz (cycles per second). Example:900 MHz = 900,000,000 or 900 x 106
Mobile Satellite
A service between mobile earth stations and one or more space stations, possibly including feeder links in operation.
Ofcom is the regulator for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services.
Public Access Mobile Radio.
Private Business Radio (previously known as Private Mobile Radio (PMR)) A private radio service installed and operated by businesses and public sector organisations to provide mobile communications for their own workforces. A base station is installed by each organisation on a suitable site providing local coverage, and used to send or receive short messages concerning the business of the organisation to, from or between, mobile units.
Power Flux Density.
Private Mobile Radio (PMR), see PBR.
Fixed link having at one end a multi-directional antenna for communication with multiple users over or relatively small area.
Primary Assignment
The initial allocation of spectrum by the regulator to the market.
Remote meter reading
The reading of meters from a distance using radio.
Safety of life services
Services provided by organisations who use radio spectrum to protect the lives of individuals, such as the emergency services.
Scanning Telemetry
National channels that are licensed to the water, electricity and gas companies.
Software Radio
A type of technology that provides mechanisms to help deal with spectrum scarcity.
A continuous range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation (for example, radio waves).
Test and development.
The transmission of radio signals and coded data.
The ability to transfer the rights and obligations held by the licensee to a third party.
Trading Regulations
Regulations made under section 168 of the Communications Act to enact spectrum trading.
See tradable
UK Plan for Frequency Authorisation
A plan published by Ofcom, setting (a) the frequencies that in relation to the UK have been allocated for particular purposes and are available for assignment and (b) the purpose for which the different frequencies have been allocated.
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System, a third generation mobile standard.
Ultra Wide Band. A technology that spreads a signal thinly over a wide range of frequencies.
Very High Frequency (30 - 300 MHz).
Very Small Aperture Terminal.
Wireless LAN
Wireless Local Area Network.
WT Acts
Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (as amended by the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1967) and Wireless Telegraphy Act 1998. These Acts are further amended by the Communications Act 2003. These Acts regulate the use of civil radio spectrum in the UK.
WT Act licences
Licences issued under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (as amended).