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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 has to 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 PLB’s in recent years. PLB’s are used 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 used both on the water and in the mountains.


Applications for licences to use personal locator beacons and other requests shall be sent to Nkom. The application form is located at the bottom of this page.

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

  • that the equipment complies with all European requirements for this type of equipment,
  • that the applicant is a Norwegian citizen or resides permanently in Norway,
  • that the personal locator beacon is programmed with a unique call sign assigned by Nkom.

Sector fees

The licence holder to use personal locator beacon, shall pay annual sector fees that are in accordance with Regulation relating to sector fees and administrative charges to the Norwegian Communications. Annual sector fees shall be paid every year, for the whole calendar year, when the licence is valid 1 January. The licence holder therefore must cancel the licence in writing by 31 December or the full annual sector fees must be paid for the following year. For licences issued after 1 July, half annual sector will be charged.

About distress beacons

Distress beacons sends distress message on the frequency 406 MHz when triggered in an emergency. Satellites receive the distress message 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 send out signal for homing, usually at the frequency 121.5 MHz.

Licence 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.

About licence for use of different types of locator beacons

Telenor AS issued licence to use land mobile (personal) locator beacons prior to 1 September 2000. These licences will be valid until cancelled by users or withdrawn for other reasons. Telenor issues licence for the use of maritime locator beacons (EPIRB -Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).

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

All licences for the use of PLB, ELT or EPIRB are registered with Nkom or Telenor AS. The registers contain the information that the main rescue coordination centres require if an emergency arises. Updated information is necessary to be able to determine whether an alarm is real or not and important in the handling of rescue missions.

Guidance to electronic form

Application for new permission

Fill out and send the form «Søknad om tillatelse til bruk av nødpeilesender».


Fil out and send the form «Anmodning om endring av registrerte opplysninger for personlig nødpeilesender». Mark the field «Oppsigelse» (cancellation), and inform about to which unique call sign the cancellation applies.

Change of ownership

When there is change of ownership on a PLB with a unique call sign allocated by the Norwegian authorities, the unique call sign can retain. Reprogramming is not necessary if this procedure is followed:

  1. Existing owners sends cancellation as described below «Oppsigelse».
  2. New owner sends form as described below «Søknad for ny tillatelse». The unique call sign must be given in the form.

Change of information about the current permission

Fill out and send the form «Anmodning om endring av registrerte opplysninger for personlig nødpeilesender» if the information given in the form no longer is correct. It can for example be change of information about where the equipment is going to be used, or change of emergency contact. This form can also be used if change of address. Mark the field «Kun adresseendring».

Forms are in Norwegian only.