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Permission to use personal locator beacons

Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) issues licences to use personal locator beacons (PLB). Each PLB is programmed with a unique call sign that is used by the rescue coordination centres when they receive alarms from a PLB. On this page you will find information about the application process. Information regarding changes to PLB licences must be sent to Nkom, whether this concerns cancellation, change of address, change in equipment or change of ownership.

There has been a steady increase in the use of PLBs in recent years. PLBs are taken as safety equipment in connection with research activities, expeditions and trips in areas that are difficult to access. Unlike an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) on board a vessel, a PLB is a personal safety device and can therefore be taken both out onto the water and into the mountains.

Applications for licences to use personal locator beacons must be sent to Nkom. The application form and instructions can be found at the bottom of the page.

Annual administrative charges for the use of personal locator beacons are in accordance with Regulations relating to administrative charges payable to the Norwegian Communications Authority. The licence does not have a time limit. The licence holder may cancel the licence. Cancellation of licences must occur in writing by 31 December. If not, the full annual administrative charges must be paid for the following year.

The requirements for being granted a licence to use personal locator beacons are:

Distress beacons send distress message on the frequency 406 MHz when they are triggered in an emergency. The distress message is received by satellites in the Cospas-Sarsat system, which forwards the message to stations on the ground. The message is then distributed to rescue coordination centres in relevant countries. Distress beacons also sends out signal for homing, usually at the frequency 121,5 MHz

Licences to use personal locator beacons that only use the 121,5 MHz or 243 MHz frequencies will not be issued. From 1 February 2009 the satellites in the Cospas-Sarsat system stopped receiving signals on these frequencies. 
Telenor AS issued licences to use land mobile (personal) locator beacons prior to 1 September 2000. These licences will be valid until they are cancelled by users or are withdrawn for other reasons. Telenor issues licences for the use of maritime locator beacons (EPIRB -Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).

Nkom issues licences for aeromobile emergency beacons (ELT - Emergency Locator Transmitter ).

All licences for the use of PLBs, ELTs or EPIRBs are registered with Nkom or Telenor AS. The registers contain the information that the main rescue coordination centres require if an emergency situation arises. Updated information is necessary to be able to determine whether an alarm is real or not.