WG RA meeting - Prague

The 24th and last meeting of the Regulatory Affairs working group (WG RA) was held in the Czech capital Prague last 20-23 September, chaired by Stelios Himonas of Cyprus and with 34 participants attending, representing a total of 20 administrations as well as the European Communications Office (ECO) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

The plenary session approved the ECC internal report on “Implementation of virtual participation Electronic Working Methods in the ECC working process”, based on analysis of the test period running from October 2009 to August 2011. Portugal submitted a proposal to rework one of the group’s recommendations with respect to virtual participation, specifically to enable administrations to virtually take part in physical meetings. But due to the problems recorded, it was opted to enable virtual participation in physical meetings only on an ad hoc basis and per the group chairman’s invitation addressed to potential key contributors to a given meeting. The report also recommends the adoption of two other electronic working means: web meetings and ‘webinars’. It was recommended that the ECC should adopt the GotoMeeting tool and that the ECO should in the future accompany and monitor this issue, updating the respective guidelines.

The group adopted the draft of the new ECC 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”, including some results from the public consultation, which only received contributions from Portugal. The document will be submitted for final adoption to the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC).

Also approved, to be forwarded for public consultation, was a new generic draft decision on “exemption from individual licensing and free circulation and use of terrestrial and satellite mobile terminals operating under the control of networks” which cover various GSM and IMT terminal bands.

The plenary session also adopted the ECC internal report on “Implementation of the RIS template”, resulting from the three year test period and which includes the “Guide for usage of Radio Interface Specifications template within the ECC”, based on the original RSC/TCAM guide. As the document is subject to ECC approval, it recommends non-conversion of Recommendation 70-03 in the RIS (radio interface specifications) model. Since it is too early to be certain about the RIS model’s validity, the group proposed that the implementation of same should be extended to new ECC decisions; the respective validation would then become the responsibility of the ECO Frequency Information System (EFIS-MG) group.

Regarding cognitive radio issues (white spaces cognitive radio – WS-CR), a report on regulatory aspects for this technology is being drawn up. It will continue to be developed by correspondence until the end of the year, but under the aegis of WG FM.

As for amateur radio issues, the introduction of editorial changes in the annexes to Recommendations T/R 61-01, T/R 61-02 and ECC/REC/(05)06 was approved. These amendments will be published by the ECO.

The co-ordinator of PT RA1 Enforcement reported that the group will meet in early October and should study its merger with PT FM22 Monitoring and debate the future mission, name, chair, reference terms and working programme.

Also approved were proposals to modify the ECC’s working methods (WM) and rules of procedure (RoP) to include the decision made at the last Committee plenary session to discontinue the group’s activity until the end of 2011.

The fourth ‘webinar’ promoted by WG RA also took place, this time with the theme topic of “IARU and IARU Region 1”. The president of Region 1 of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU R1), Hans Blondeel Timmermann, was the speaker at this webinar, which counted 64 virtual participants. He presented conclusions from the IARU Region 1 Conference held last August.

Due to the ongoing reorganisation of the ECC, which decided to discontinue the group, this was the last plenary meeting of WG RA.