60 seconds with Ofcom's Vaughan John
Written by: Land Mobile | Published:
Vaughan John, Ofcom's head of business radio

Vaughan John, Ofcom's head of business radio, discusses his role and the challenges facing business radio

How do you spend most of your time?

I am the principal spectrum policy manager with responsibility for business radio, programme making, and special events and TV white space. I spend most of my time working on Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) and TV White Spaces (TVWS) as a result of the clearance of the 700MHz band (694-790MHz) for new mobile data services. But we are also working towards implementing the decisions we made for Business Radio (BR) in UHF Bands 1 and 2.

How has the industry changed since you started working in it?

I’ve only been directly involved with BR for just over a year. But things have largely remained the same for many years. Regardless of mobile phones, there is still a significant requirement for direct, privately-owned Push-to-Talk comms. Voice is the predominant technology and likely to be so for the next 10 years, although with increasing demand for data.

What’s the biggest issue facing BR?

Increasing demand versus limited available spectrum, leading to congestion, especially in urban areas. The decisions we made in our UHF Band 1 and 2 strategy will largely address this, such as increased sharing and access to additional spectrum for civil use as a result of Public Sector Spectrum Release (PSSR) and the rationalisation of Emergency Services spectrum.

What’s the one gadget you can’t live without?

I’m not really a gadget person – I’ve only just moved to an internet-enabled phone from my trusty Nokia 3310. But the thing that has solved more DIY or motorbike maintenance problems over the years has been my Dremel. If I had to choose something that I couldn’t live without, it would be that.

What do you do to relax?

To relax, I mainly play snooker and golf. Both are played on a green surface. One involves trying to get a white ball into a hole, while the other involves trying to keep the white ball out of a hole. Unfortunately, I don’t necessarily always get this the right way round.

Vaughan John is the head of business radio at Ofcom.

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