Insights Ofcom advertises national radio Additional Services licence


Ofcom is inviting applications for a national radio “Additional Service” Licence, from March 2022 until April 2031. Additional Services are services that use the “spare” capacity within the signals carrying sound broadcasting services on certain frequencies, for example to transmit data. Ofcom is required to do all it can to ensure that all spare capacity on relevant frequencies that is available for Additional Services is used for their provision under Additional Services licences.

There is currently one Additional Services licence, held by INRIX UK Ltd, which uses the spare capacity from frequencies used to broadcast Classic FM to transmit traffic and road travel information to in-car navigation devices. This licence is due to expire at the end of February 2022.

Ofcom intends to issue a new licence when the current licence expires. Ofcom consulted on the characteristics of a new Additional Services licence in September 2021. It has now published a statement explaining its decisions, as well as a licence advertisement in the form of a Notice, setting out its proposal to grant a new Additional Services licence.

The closing date for applications is 3:00pm on 12 January 2022. To read Ofcom’s statement in full and for a link to the Notice, click here.