The product I am working on (Electronic Shelf Label) uses the 915 MHz radio frequency band and is currently being deployed in Asia. I am gathering the list of countries that the 915 MHz frequency is licensed or illegal to be used in. I prefer to stick to this and not switch to 433 MHz to avoid increasing the antenna length. Most sources I found state that it is allowable to use 868 MHz in Europe with certain limits, therefore I am considering it as well since antenna length only increases slightly.

However I came across the following information.

This Decision harmonises the frequency bands and the related technical conditions for the availability and efficient use of spectrum for short-range devices within the 874-876 MHz and 915-921 MHz frequency bands.

What I wish to know is whether 915 MHz is currently allowed (license-free) in Europe? Additionally, are there Regions/countries where I have no choice but to use 433 MHz?

Extra info: Table 5.1 here shows that 868-950 MHz is allowed to be used globally, but does not mention about licensing.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You can use any frequency anywhere providing it is below the amplitude specifications for a given area. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Mar 28, 2020 at 13:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ That link doesn't lead to a Table 5.1, but to a topic overview of science direct. Anyways, wouldn't matter: Nobody's the authority on that but the national/transnational spectrum authorities, and they have websites. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28, 2020 at 13:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarcusMüller Sorry, please refer to Table 5.1 in the link. I am checking the websites, but I am very new to this and trying to digest the information. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – uuwen
    Mar 29, 2020 at 13:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @uuwen there's no table 5.1 at the point you're linking to, so I can't refer to that table. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 29, 2020 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


What I wish to know is whether 915 MHz is currently allowed (license-free) in Europe?

It's not an ISM band in Europe.

efficient use of spectrum for short-range devices within the 874-876 MHz and 915-921 MHz frequency bands.

"Short-range device" usage is very specific, that's not the same as "ISM band"; on the contrary. The European legislation that you're referring to leaves it up to the member states to define what an SRD is – and in European member states, those always (?) have been walkie-talkies, not things like machine-to-machine communications.

Maybe that will change, but it remains to be seen. In any case, you cannot assume this band to be currently available; that European guideline is pending national legislation.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Link here, page 3 mentions that "863 MHz - 870 MHz frequency range is an ISM band in Europe only. " Table 1 in page 4 also mentions that same. Does this mean that this band is applicable in Europe? \$\endgroup\$
    – uuwen
    Mar 29, 2020 at 13:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @uuwen I've linked to the official document. I think you can look that up on your own. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 29, 2020 at 14:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ "have been walkie-talkies, not things like machine-to-machine communications." I don't think that's the case since the decision talks about networked short range devices too. In fact it gives a fairly clear definition: "‘short-range devices’ means radio transmitters which provide either unidirectional or bidirectional communication and which transmit over a short distance at low power;" No mention of walkie-talkies. \$\endgroup\$
    – Timmmm
    Mar 16 at 14:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's also this document which defines Non-specific short range device as "The non-specific short-range device category covers all kinds of radiodevices, regardless of the application or the purpose, which fulfil thetechnical conditions as specified for a given frequency band. Typical uses include telemetry, telecommand, alarms, data transmissions in general and other applications." \$\endgroup\$
    – Timmmm
    Mar 16 at 14:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Timmmm that's OFCOM, i.e. a national realization of the EU guideline; I tried to explain the difference in the answer. Right now, through very unfortunate politcal events, there's reasonable doubt that the EU norms of the future will be aligned with what UK decides to do. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16 at 15:12

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