ICP's reaction to the Green Paper on Radiofrequency spectrum policy

/ Updated on 16.03.2004
The European Commission (EC) launched the Green Paper on Radio frequency http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/spectrumgp/Welcome.htmlspectrum policy on December 9, 1998, having identified the radio-frequency spectrum as a scarce resource which has a decisive impact upon telecommunications, broadcasting, transport and R&D policy, and which requires careful coordination between countries. In this manner the EC invited the industry, users and Member States to provide their comments concerning the need for greater involvement of the EC in the following areas:
  1. Strategic planning of the use of the radio frequency spectrum;
  2. Harmonisation of the spectrum reserve;
  3. Spectrum assignment and licensing;
  4. Radio equipment and norms;
  5. Institutional framework for spectrum co-ordination.
In the ambit of the public consultation period, which ended on April 15, 1999, ICP contacted operators whose activities are linked to the Portuguese telecommunications sector, and then sent its reaction to the CE concerning the Green Paper, based on the following core principles:
  • Given that the radio frequency spectrum is an essential and increasingly scarce resource, of significant economic value, presently lacking a global/horizontal political strategy, it is vital that spectrum management is based on transparent and non-discriminatory principles. At the same time, spectrum management must guarantee effective competition contributing towards economic growth, technological innovation and promotion of the public interest.
  • In the light of the spectrum characteristics identified above and in order to respond to political priorities, it is desirable to introduce a greater strategic component in the planning carried out at the level of CEPT. This suggests the need for the creation of a permanent linking mechanism between the European Union (EU) and CEPT, where diverse associated issues would be handled.
  • At the same time, it is clear that CEPT, whose geographical ambit goes well beyond the EU area, has been successfully developing work linked to strategic planning and harmonisation of frequency bands. CEPT has also prepared and co-ordinated, at a European level, the World Radio Communications Conferences of the UIThttps://www.itu.int/ (International Telecommunications Union). These activities could, however, be improved, via greater and more dynamic involvement of the EU in CEPT.
  • Current procedures relative to the harmonisation of the radio frequency spectrum do not require major alterations. Community measures should be adopted on a case by case basis, limited to pan-European services and situations in which the mechanisms of CEPT are insufficient.
  • The assignment of spectrum and associated licensing procedures falls within the domain of each Member State, in that such issues are subject to the respective legal systems (guided, of course, by Community directives). It is neither feasible nor advisable to advance towards the harmonisation of such procedures.
The Green Paper was also analysed by CEPT (European Conference of European Postal and Telecommunications Administrations), which provided a fairly detailed reactionhttp://www.ero.dk/EROWEB/green.doc based on the contribution of its Committees - ERC (European Radio Communications Committee) and ECTRA (European Committee of Telecommunications Regulation Affairs). This reaction was nonetheless of a very general nature in relation to political questions, and a clearer impression is therefore found in the reaction of each individual member Administration. The position put forward by CEPT merits the general consensus (explicit or implicit) of its 43 member Administrations, including ICP.