Following on from the RSGB VHF Manager 2016 report, stating the decline in use on 432 MHz, an idea has been floated to generate interest.
The suggestion is to make a new lower entry point to the Amateur / Ham Radio hobby, targeting 10 watt low power operation on 144 MHz and higher frequency bands.
In many parts of the United Kingdom 144 MHz activity has dropped alarmingly compared to the 1990s, SSB, FM Simplex and even Repeaters can be very quiet for much of the time. During the same period, commercial desire for UHF and Microwave spectrum has rapidly increased.
The successful increase in activity in this band would ward-off competition from the mobile phone networks who value each MHz of spectrum at £1 million per annum.
Hence the idea of a new entry level exam, which would slot in under the existing Foundation Licence and be at the minimum level of the ITU Recommendation M.1544.
2016 RSGB VHF Manager's report - http://rsgb.org/main/files/2016/11/5.2_VHF-Managers-report_Oct2016.pdf
ITU Rec M.1544 minimum qualifications of radio amateurs - https://www.itu.int/rec/R-REC-M.1544-1-201509-I/en