Project team PT1 of the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) met on 2-4 June in Mainz, Germany. The group handles all issues concerning the future evolution of IMT-2000 and systems beyond. It is responsible for co-ordinating European contributions and their positions on spectrum, regulatory and sharing/ compatibility issues in the context of WP8F of the International Telecommunications Union?s Radiocommunications Sector (ITU-R) and particularly the preparation of European positions for items 1.4 and 1.9 of the next World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC07).
As usual, the work is carried out in three parallel teams (Spectrum Issues, Sharing/ Compatibility and Services/ Market). The following more relevant meeting subjects stand out:
In reply to the fifth European Commission mandate, the report of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) and an ECC decision are being prepared. Regarding the CEPT report, an interim version will be sent to the ECC in June for approval, for subsequent routing to the European Commission by November. An ECC decision is also being developed, though still depending on some debate in PT1, particularly vis-à-vis the determination of each bearer?s central frequencies. This decision should be finalised in March 2005. According to the below figure, the width ? and detailed channelling ? of band corresponding to frequency division multiplexing (FDD) and time division multiplexing is under discussion.
(Click here to see the full-size image)
A decision was made at the meeting that the ?B+C? band will be subsequently channelled (eventually via another ECC decision) and not in the context of the decision being prepared in reply to mandate 5. For the time being the width of the ?B+C? band remains to be determined, i.e., whether the FDD (internal) should be 2x60, 2x70 or 2x80 MHz. The interim report considers the advantages and disadvantages for each one of the alternatives.
Most countries, among them Portugal, have indicated that the 2x60 identification would be preferable for the time being. While the 2x80 MHz identification for FDD does correspond to identification ? immediate ? of more spectrum quantity (for FDD), it definitely conditions future ?B+C? band options in terms of FDD and/or TDD inclusion.
The question that hindered more progress on the ECC draft decision concerned had to do with the contribution of the United Kingdom, which wanted to insert the concept of ?technological neutrality? into the decision, enabling the implementation of other non-IMT-2000/UMTS systems in the 2.5 GHz band. This position was not supported by any of the administrations present.
Sharing and Compatibility
In the wake of the last meeting, in which one of the most discussed issues had to do with duplex direction (uplink/downlink), more contributions on same were presented. It was confirmed that from the standpoint of sharing and compatibility with other radiocommunications systems or services (for example, bluetooth or mobile satellite services ? MSS), maintaining conventional duplex direction (lower frequencies for uplink and higher frequencies for downlink) is preferable.
Regarding identification of the central frequencies of UMTS bearers, it was determined that the ECC decision should not ?rigidly? limit each bloc?s frequencies. Thus, as with the core band in 2.1 GHz, a raster (of 200 or 100 kHz) will be determined, corresponding to the possible central frequencies of the UMTS bearers. The bearers? frequencies will therefore not be aligned, specifically between operators from various countries, because although to do so could facilitate border co-ordination, it would hinder flexibility in terms of frequency planning by the UMTS operator.
Also, with regard to border co-ordination, Germany suggested increasing co-ordination levels. Even if that could facilitate greater implementation by operators, it would at the same time evidently increase the likelihood of interference in border regions. The proposal was not accepted for this reason.
Services and Market
Various CEPT contributions in the WP8F context were prepared and met agreement, related to future services, the parameters needed for each service and the methodology for calculating the spectrum needed for ?future evolution of IMT-2000 and systems beyond?.
These contributions were drawn up jointly with a research consortium, partially financed by the European Commission and designated as WINNER (Wireless World Initiative New Radio).
The CEPT brief for item 1.4 (future evolution of IMT-2000 and systems beyond) was brought up to date, particularly confirming that the satellite component is covered by this item.
Given that various administrations were still unable to confirm application of the UMTS decision on the core band (2.1 GHz), UMTS terminal equipment cannot be considered as class 1 under the R&TTE Directive. The European Radiocommunications Office (ERO) is handling the issue with the administrations involved (Lithuania, Spain, Poland, Malta, Hungary and Greece).
With examination of the SDR (Software Defined Radio) issue in mind, a possible CEPT contribution in WP8F will be debated at the next PT1 meeting.
About 70 participants attended this meeting, which counted the presence of administrations, operators, manufacturers and observers.
The next meetings will be held on 6-8 September in the United Kingdom, and on 12-14 January 2005 in Uppsala, Sweden.