54th meeting of ECC PT1 - Cascais

The 54th meeting of ECC project team 1 (ECC PT1) on International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) was held last 16-20 January in Cascais, Portugal, chaired by Steve Green of the United Kingdom. It was attended by about 110 participants, including representatives from administrations, the European Communications Office (ECO), the European Commission (EC), operators and manufacturers, among others.

ECC PT1 is responsible for all matters concerning IMT. Among other aspects, its mission is to develop harmonisation measures for bands identified for the IMT system, including respective channels and technical conditions, to conduct studies on sharing/compatibility and to coordinate European positions within the International Telecommunication Union’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R). It will also lead the preparation of CEPT’s position in the scope of questions for the 2019 World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-19) concerning additional spectrum for mobile/IMT systems (5G systems).

The mandate submitted by the EC to CEPT was presented; it aims to further development of harmonised technical conditions for use of next generation (5G) spectrum of terrestrial systems. A particular aim is to review the harmonised technical requisites applicable to the 3.4-3.8 GHz (‘3.6 GHz’) frequency band, analysing whether that band is suitable to serve as a support for 5G systems, and to evaluate the 24.25-27.5 GHz band (‘26 GHz’) for 5G, bearing in mind questions of coexistence vis-à-vis various radiocommunication services.

Taking into account the WRC-15 decisions and the results of a questionnaire drawn up in ECC PT1, the necessary work began with a view to addressing the sub-bands 1427-1452 MHz and 1492-1518 MHz for mobile/fixed communications networks, as the 1452-1492 MHz band is already harmonised via Decision ECC13(03).

The proposed ECC report 263 on adjacent band compatibility between IMT systems operating in the 1492-1518 MHz frequency band and mobile satellite service systems operating in the 1518-1525 MHz frequency band was in public consultation until 4 January 2017. The comments received were all resolved and this proposed ECC report 263 will be submitted to the next ECC meeting for final approval.

At the last ECC PT1 meeting a questionnaire was produced to evaluate how different administrations consider indoor coverage obligations. The results of that questionnaire were now considered, dwelling on the “best practices for mobile indoor coverage”. A working document was completed which gathers all the information received and will be included as an annex to the report of the ECC PT1 meeting so that the administrations can update this information at future meetings.

ECC PT1 has been producing a report on machine-to-machine (M2M), especially to study adjustment to the current regulatory framework of the mobile networks in CEPT in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2600 MHz, 3400-3600 MHz and 3600-3800 MHz bands for future M2M use. This proposed report on M2M will be submitted to the next ECC meeting for approval and submission to public consultation.

ECC PT1 was mandated by the ECC to study the degree of suitability of the 3400-3800 MHz band, per Decision ECC(11)06, for future 5G systems. At the last ECC PT1 meeting a questionnaire was produced to address the question of authorisations (direct for frequency use) currently in force; the aim was to assess the level of ‘fragmentation’ in the 3.6 GHz band and regarding the administrations’ future plans for initial implementation in 5G networks. The questionnaire’s results were examined at this meeting and a working document containing the information gathered was created; the topic will continue to be developed in ECC PT1.

The preparatory work for WRC-19 vis-à-vis item 1.13 is still in the initial phase; its aim is to identify frequency bands for future IMT development. It was nevertheless concluded that CEPT’s preliminary position focuses on the 24.25-27.5 GHz, 31.8-33.4 GHz and 40.5-43.5 GHz bands. A large part of the discussion on AI 1.13 notably concerned the 26 GHz band, especially considering the studies on compatibility in this band involving the scientific services.

Also dealt with were other WRC-19 points under ECC PT1’s responsibility, IMT implementation in the 1885-2025 MHz and 2110-2200 MHz bands (item 9.1.1), analysis of IMT compatibility and satellite broadcasting service in the 1452-1492 MHz band (item 9.1.2) and M2M (item 9.1.8).

The revision of the recommendations concerning various bands with mobile systems (900/1800 MHz, 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz) was in public consultation until 20 December 2016. The comments received, merely editorial, were all resolved and the diverse proposals to modify Recommendations ECC/REC(05)08, ECC/REC(11)04 and ECC/REC(11)05 will thus be submitted to the next meeting of the Frequency Management working group (WG FM) for final approval.