London Olympics 2012 – announcement on two-way radio use

London Olympics 2012 – announcement on two-way radio use

news-18-normalOn 14th July 2011, the Federation of Communication Services released the following announcement to its members, which includes Apex Radio Systems Ltd.


In essence, if you’re using radio equipment at venues other than London 2012 official sites, there is nothing further for you to do – it is business as usual between your company and us. However, if you do intend to use radio equipment at London 2012 official sites, you will need to comply with the following instructions.

Please note that we cannot do this for you, even if you hire the equipment from us. It is the organisation which is taking equipment into venues that must ensure that the equipment has been checked and confirmed as compliant.


Dear FCS member

Ofcom has written to FCS to advise that during the Games in 2012, they estimate an additional 80,000 RF devices in London will require frequency coordination. In preparation for this demand, LOCOG has been working in partnership with Ofcom to plan, coordinate and license the radio spectrum.

Ofcom are aware that FCS members may already be receiving enquiries from customers in relation to equipment hire for use at the Games, so Ofcom would like to take this opportunity to pass on some important information to them:


Important information about radio spectrum for the London 2012 Games

The London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), in partnership with the UK communications regulator Ofcom, have been working to plan, coordinate and license the radio spectrum for the Games.

The frequency bands that have been secured for Games-use are set out in the Olympic Spectrum Plan (OSP).


What is required from you?

If your customers are planning on using wireless devices at the Games, you can help us by communicating this information to them. They should consider the following when planning for the Games:

Only accredited Games Family members are allowed to operate at venues.

Games Family members include Rights Holding Broadcasters, accredited Press, the IOC and IPC, National Olympic and Paralympic Committees, International Federations, and Games sponsors and partners.

All wireless devices will need to be declared and approved for use at the Games. You can do this by applying for frequencies and validation tags for your wireless devices. These can only be obtained from the LOCOG Spectrum team by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it, and applies to all wireless equipment, except mobile phones, laptops, 3G dongles, key fobs and Bluetooth devices.

There is extremely limited availability for UHF frequencies at Games venues. LOCOG strongly encourages the use of VHF frequencies to meet any PMR/LMR/walkie-talkie equipment requirements.

Users must have approval from LOCOG prior to using the Private Business Radio (PBR), PBR Suppliers licence and PMR446 frequencies at Games venues.


Why this is important?

If your customers do not have a licence and a validation tag, they will not be able to bring their wireless equipment, provided by you, into LOCOG venues.


What about licence-exempt radios, and existing licences?

Users that already have a licence or use radios that are classified as ‘licence free’, or ‘licence exempt’, must still apply for a Games licence if they want to use the equipment at venues.


Applying for spectrum

Games Family members must apply for radio frequency (RF) coordination using the LOCOG Spectrum Order Portal. Visit and follow the Spectrum requests menu option.

Frequencies for use at Games venues will not be available via JFMG. JFMG will continue to coordinate the non-Games (‘Business as Usual’, or ‘BAU’) spectrum requirements for programme making and entertainment.

Ofcom will issue Games licences in early 2012. These licences specify the period of operation, the frequency, location, and maximum output power the radio frequency device must use.


Non Games Family users

All users that are not accredited members of the Games Family must apply for frequency coordination through the ‘Business as Usual’ route with JFMG – Non Games Family users are not permitted to use their equipment at Olympic and Paralympic Games venues.


When is the deadline?

We strongly recommend that your customers apply for frequencies prior to 31 December 2011.


How much does this cost?

There is no licence fee or administration fee for Games Family. The usual fees apply for applications via JFMG.


Interference management

In a similar way to recent Olympic and Paralympic Games, Ofcom will test and tag all RF devices used at 2012 Games venues. This process starts from June 2012 and will minimise the risk of radio interference by controlling where equipment operates and making sure the equipment is operating to its Games licence schedule.

Prior to use, all RF equipment must be taken to a Spectrum Desk, or an appointment booked with the Spectrum team. Here, the Spectrum team will examine the RF equipment and affix a colour-coded label that will identify it for access into the assigned venue(s).

All users are required to operate within their specific authorised frequency band or frequencies. If a user is found to be operating on any other channel, they will be required to stop transmitting and tune to their authorised channel or apply for a frequency immediately.


Further information

Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like guidance on spectrum availability, confirmation on whether your customer is entitled to apply for Games Family.



Best regards

Jacqui Brookes OBE