Ofcom is to offer compensation to owners of wireless cameras and microphones after bringing forward the its plan to clear the 700 MHz radio band.

Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) equipment users will no longer have access to the band from 1 May 2020, 18 months earlier than was originally planned.

To offset some of the loss of spectrum, Ofcom has allocated 960-1164 MHz to be used by PMSE equipment as an alternative but there is currently no commercially available equipment that supports it.

Ofcom said: “Government has decided to fund a grant scheme to support PMSE equipment owners that have to vacate the 700 MHz band earlier than expected. We have agreed with Government to design and run a grant scheme to disburse the funds.”

A consultation has been published covering how the grant scheme could operate.

Ofcom has also released a consultation proposing the use of the 700 MHz guard band (694-703 MHz) for PMSE services.

In October 2016 Ofcom announced that it would be working towards accelerating the 700 MHz clearance programme by 18 months and releasing the spectrum for mobile services in May 2020, instead of September 2021.