Insights Ofcom consults on plans to enable spectrum access for a new terrestrial based positioning, navigation and timing service that could in future act as a potential back-up to GPS


Ofcom is proposing to make radio spectrum in the 90-110 kHz frequency range available for Enhanced Long-Range Navigation (eLoran) systems. Ofcom explains that eLoran is the latest evolution of a positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) system first developed during World War II for use by ships and patrol aircraft.

Accurate PNT is used to:

  • provide precise positioning information, such as for the security-tracking and civil engineering sectors;
  • help our navigation wherever we are in the world, such as for the maritime and aviation sectors; and
  • provide highly accurate timing which forms an essential part of modern communications networks, broadcasting and financial services.

Ofcom says that satellite-based PNT systems, such as GPS (Global Positioning System) can be susceptible to interference and can be vulnerable to space weather events. The eLoran technology provides a terrestrial-based alternative to satellite-based services which could in future act as a supplementary or back-up system to GPS.

Ofcom’s consultation on these proposals is open until 14 July 2023. It expects to decide on whether to proceed with the plans by the end of 2023. To access the proposals and consultation, click here.