Ultra Wide Band (UWB) is a technology for the transmission of data using techniques which cause a spreading of the radio energy over a very wide frequency band, with a very low power spectral density. The low power spectral density limits the interference potential with conventional radio systems, and the high bandwidth can allow very high data throughput for communications devices, or high precision for location and imaging devices.

The European Commission has issued a standardization mandate for the production by ETSI of Harmonised Standards for Ultra Wide Band under the Radio Equipment Directive (RED), and a mandate to the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) for harmonized frequency allocations under the Radio Spectrum Decision.

ETSI's standardization activity for short-range devices currently includes these UWB applications:

  • Communications applications
  • Ground-probing and wall-probing radar
  • Tank level probing radar
  • Sensors
  • Precision location within buildings
  • Automotive radar.

The work includes production of related specifications such as System Reference Documents (which establish radio spectrum requirements) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) standards for UWB.

Our Role & Activities

ETSI published TR 101 994-1, the System Reference Document for communications purposes, in January 2004. This was submitted to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-R TG 1/8) in June 2004.

ETSI has published the Harmonised Standard (EN 302 065) for this application. The Institute is also contributing to the activities of CEPT TG3 to ensure coherence between the Harmonised Standard and the frequency allocation. CEPT have responded to an initial Commission mandate, and are now working on a second mandate to fulfil the outstanding objectives.

The CEPT Electronic Communication Committee (CEPT/ECC), in which ETSI participates, has adopted an initial Decision on the use of UWB below 10,6 GHz (ECC/DEC(06)04) without mitigation techniques. A further Decision (ECC/DEC(06)12) allows relaxed limits in the band 3.4 to 4.8 GHz with additional mitigation techniques to be defined.

ETSI has also published a Technical Report on the different technologies used in UWB, and a specification of mitigation techniques that can be used.

Ground-probing (GPR) and wall-probing radar (WPR)

ETSI has published the System Reference Document for GPR and WPR (Technical Report TR 101 994-2) and the Harmonised Standard EN 302 066.

The Harmonised Standard is intended for use under European national licensing regimes as there is currently no harmonized frequency regulation. If harmonized frequency regulations were to be adopted in Europe, the Harmonised Standard will probably be updated in consequence.

ETSI has also published a code of practice for the control, use and application of GPR and WPR in Technical Report TR 102 554. Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) requirements are covered by EN 301 489 part 1 and part 32.

Tank level probing radar

This is a UWB device used for measurement of fluid levels in reservoirs. A System Reference Document (TR 102 347) and the Harmonised Standard (EN 302 372) were published.


ETSI has published Harmonised Standards and System Reference Documents for UWB sensors used in various applications:

Application System Reference Document Harmonised Standard
Building material analysis and classification applications operating in the frequency band from 2.2 GHz to 8 GHz TR 102 495-1 EN 302 435
Object discrimination and characterization applications operating in the frequency band 2.2 to 8 GHz TR 102 495-2 EN 302 498
Location tracking applications operating in the frequency band from 6 GHz to 9 GHz TR 102 495-3 & TR 102 495-5 EN 302 500

Precision location within buildings

ETSI has started work on UWB applications for precision location within buildings (for example, for locating fire-fighters).

Automotive Radar

ETSI has standards for automotive radar, which includes the use of Ultra Wide Band technology.