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UHF Equipment – Is it Legal?

Adrian Mudd   July 31, 2009

At Spy Equipment UK, we have to keep up-to-date on the legalities in relation to the equipment that we sell. Any equipment that transmits on a radio frequency (RF), is subject to strict criteria and as such must comply to certain regulations. The government regulatory body in the UK is OFCOM (Office of Communications) and it is this agency that enforce and advise of any existing or new transmitting equipment that is sold in the UK and in fact the EU.

Here at Spy Equipment UK we offer a range of UHF Equipment for export only outside the UK and EU, but many ask, why it is not available to UK or EU member state customers. UHF transmitters have been around now for about 30 years, likewise have been the cheaper FM Transmitter counterparts. FM Transmitters generally transmit on frequencies between 108 MHz and 115MHz of the FM band and UHF Transmitters operate generally between 395 MHz and 430 MHZ in the Ultra High Frequency band. It is not illegal to manufacture, sell for export outside EU or possess such equipment, but it is illegal to switch on an unlicensed transmitter or offer for sale to UK or SE customers.

Why Are FM Transmitters Banned By OFCOM?

The FM Transmitters do not comply with OFCOM regulations because the frequencies that they use sit in the range used by Air Traffic and it has been deemed that ground-based FM surveillance transmitters could possibly interfere with air traffic control.

As regards the UHF Equipment, OFCOM informs us that the frequency range used is set aside for military use and therefore UHF surveillance transmitters could interfere with their usage. In short, unless granted a licence by OFCOM to operate on the frequency bands specified. It should be borne-in-mind that OFCOM do investigate and prosecute offenders and fines are often in the region of many thousands of pounds, so beware! Contact us to learn more about UHF equipment and the spy laws that surround these types of devices.