WG RA meeting - Paris

Paris hosted last 3-6 May the 23rd meeting of the Regulatory Affairs working group (WG RA), chaired by Stelios Himonas of Cyprus. It was attended by 36 participants from a total of 21 administrations, besides representatives from the European Communications Office (ECO) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

The plenary adopted the report titled “Description of practices relative to trading of spectrum rights of use” (draft ECC Report 169), already subject to public consultation, during which comments were received from Estonia, France and Romania. The latter should explain some aspects of its contribution before the report’s final publication by the ECO.

The rapporteur of the White Spaces Cognitive Radio correspondence group (CG WS-CR), Andrew Gowans of the United Kingdom, put forward proposals to update the report the group is developing, based on chapters 9 and 11 of ECC Report 159 of WG SE, titled “Technical and operational requirements for the possible operation of cognitive radio systems in the ‘white spaces’ of the frequency band 470-790 MHz”. The work should continue by correspondence.

The group analysed a report from the rapporteur of the Radio Interface Specifications correspondence group (CG RA-RIS), Patrick Donohue of France, with guidelines for filling out the RIS template, which was based on the original guide developed by TCAM. The plenary session proposed the addition of guidelines to make clear where information should be entered in the RIS model on block edge masks (BEM) and mitigation techniques. Note that this document will be part of the report being developed by the CG on use of the RIS model. The plenary meeting also adopted new RIS models developed by ECC bodies; it asked the ECO to send a letter to the CEPT administrations with information on RIS implementations published on the ECO website.

The co-ordinator of project team (PT) 1 of WG RA, Kati Heikkinen of Finland, reported that development of a new strategy of oversight at ECC level had begun. The basic idea is to replace the current enforcement action plan with a new improved model. The new strategy to develop should give rise to an ECC Report; PT22 of the Frequency Management working group (WG FM) has been asked to participate in development of this working item. The plenary session endorsed PT1’s proposal to focus its concentrate on statistics only in the scope of interference, as collating statistics such as market control and spectrum monitoring would clash with the work of other groups. The group also agreed with PT1’s proposal to revise ECC Report 44 on “Guidance for radio usage at special events”, approved in 2004; a liaison statement to that end, to be sent to WG FM, was approved.

WG RA adopted a new proposed decision on “Exemption from individual licensing of digital terminals of narrowband or wideband PMR/PAMR/PPDR systems and free circulation and use of digital terminals of narrowband or wideband PPDR systems operating in the 80 MHz, 160 MHz, 380-470 MHz and 800/900 MHz bands”, to be forwarded for public consultation. This new decision revokes Decisions ERC/DEC/(99)02 and ERC/DEC/(99)03 “On Free Circulation and Use of Terrestrial Trunked Radio System (TETRA) Civil Mobile Terminals”.

The group decided that the time was not ripe for developing a broad generic decision on free circulation and use and licence exemption for all mobile terminals operating under a network’s control, which had been proposed by Sweden.

Also discussed was a new generic decision on free circulation and use and licence exemption for mobile terminals operating in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands, which includes GSM, UMTS, LTE and WIMAX systems; Portugal has been actively involved in this draft decision. The plenary session decided for the time being not to approve this decision for public consultation, due to the ongoing revision of Decision ERC/DEC/(00)06, the “ERC Decision of 19 October 2000 on the licensing and global circulation and use of IMT-2000 terrestrial and satellite mobile terminals”. PT RA3 was mandated to develop a proposal to ensure there was no overlapping between the two decisions, nor any overlapping with Decisions ECC/DEC/(07)04 and ECC/DEC/(07)05.

The WG RA chairman reported on conclusions of the last ECC TG5 (ECC Structure) meeting, held last 7-8 April in Biel, Switzerland, and on the recommendations agreed to by the group in charge of revising the ECC structure. Note the decision to discontinue WG RA when the current chairman ends his mandate in September 2011. The tasks currently assigned to WG RA should be spread among other ECC bodies and the ECO. PT1 is expected to merge with PT22, though it is not yet clear to whom the new group will report (eventually WG FM), to be decided by the ECC.

The June ECC meeting should review the working programme in detail, eliminating items considered less important. The ECC will likewise redefine criteria to be met by subordinate bodies when approving new items. Contrary to the original plans, the December and not June ECC meeting should approve the Committee’s future structure and respective working groups. The work of ECC TG5 will thus continue until the end of this year. The group agreed that for now the CPG, NaN and PT1 should remain untouched.

Regarding procedures, the group continued efforts to update the ECC rules of procedure (RoP) and working methods (WM) and to introduce electronic working methods (EWM). The ECO representative reported that the “ECO Guidelines on EWM” had been revised and included new sections, and that the “ECO Guidelines on the use of GoToMeeting platform” had also been revised. In March, the ECO published the “User Guide for ECO Forum”, available on the new website’s ECO Forum; also created was a “User Guide for CEPT Portal”.

The next WG RA plenary meeting will be held this coming 20-23 September in Prague.