During its 49th Plenary meeting (23-26 October 2018, Bordeaux), the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) made good progress in consolidating the regulatory framework applicable to spectrum for 5G. ECC also made a number of key decisions on a range of spectrum issues covering Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) applications, Short Range Devices (SRD) and Fixed-satellite Service earth stations.
Spectrum for 5G and mobile communications
ECC built on the significant achievement, reached in July 2018 on harmonised technical conditions applicable to 5G systems in the bands 3.4 – 3.8 GHz and 24.25-27.5 GHz, in order to develop further guidance to CEPT administrations for timely 5G deployments.
For the 3.4-3.8 GHz band, the regulatory framework for Mobile/Fixed Communications Networks (MFCN), as described in ECC Decision (11)06 is now fully up-to-date and suitable for 5G deployments. In addition, ECC has also finally approved guidelines for administrations to ‘de-fragment’ the existing allocations in the 3.6 GHz band in order to facilitate large contiguous blocks of spectrum and to provide high throughput for 5G. Another ECC Report has been approved for public consultation on guidance on synchronisation in 3400-3800 MHz, which provides a toolbox for coexistence of MFCN in synchronised, unsynchronised and semi-synchronised operations.
For the 26 GHz band, ECC is working on a number of toolboxes to assist CEPT administrations in implementing 5G, in line with the conditions set up in ECC Decision(18)06. At this meeting, ECC approved for public consultation some technical guidelines to support the introduction of 5G while ensuring, in a proportionate way, the use of existing and planned EESS/SRS (Earth Exploration Satellite Service/Space Research Service) receiving earth stations in the 26 GHz band.
In line with the CEPT roadmap for 5G, ECC is also reviewing the technical conditions in the bands identified for MFCN below 3 GHz to make them suitable for 5G, in order to achieve wider coverage for 5G. In this context, ECC approved for public consultation draft revisions of the ECC Decisions relevant for MFCN in the 900/1800 MHz bands and in the paired 2 GHz bands.
ECC also approved for public consultation two guidance documents in order to support the implementation of the ECC regulatory framework for the deployment of MFCN Supplemental Downlink (SDL) in the 1427-1518 MHz frequency range. They address cross border coordination between MFCN and Aeronautical Telemetry Systems and measures to address potential blocking of mobile earth stations operating in bands adjacent to 1518 MHz at sea ports and airports.
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) at 5.9 GHz
ECC approved for public consultation the draft CEPT Report 71, in response to the European Commission Mandate to CEPT to study the extension of the ITS safety-related band at 5.9 GHz. It considers technical solutions for coexistence between Road ITS technologies (ITS-G5 and C-V2X) as well as sharing between Road ITS and Urban Rail ITS. Notably, it proposes to identify the sub-band 5915-5935 MHz as priority for Urban Rail ITS and the sub-band 5875-5915 MHz as priority for Road ITS, the sharing solutions having to be defined within ETSI Harmonised Standards.
Whilst agreement was reached on most of the elements under consideration, ECC is seeking views from the CEPT administrations and interested stakeholders on a few specific items during the public consultation, which ends 7 December 2018.
Ultra Wide Band (UWB) applications
ECC approved for publication CEPT Report 69, the Report from CEPT to the European Commission in response to the permanent Mandate on the technical conditions for the harmonised introduction of UWB applications. The Report includes a set of proposals to assist the EC in updating Commission Decision 2007/131/EC.
Short Range Devices (SRD)
ECC approved for public consultation draft CEPT Report 70, the draft Report in response to the permanent European Commission Mandate on the technical harmonisation of radio spectrum for use by short range devices. It contains a range of proposals to assist in the 7th update of the SRD Commission Decision, including in particular new usage opportunities for wideband data transmission devices in 57-66 GHz, and conditions for smart tachograph, weight and dimension applications around 5.8 GHz.
Fixed-satellite service earth stations
Based on recent studies performed within ECC on the electromagnetic compatibility between satellite terminals and aircraft avionics, ECC identified the need to update a set of ECC Decisions related to satellite earth stations. At this meeting, ECC approved the first one of this series, dealing with earth stations on mobile platforms (ESOMPs) in the frequency bands available for use by uncoordinated FSS Earth stations within the ranges 17.3-20.2 GHz and 27.5-30.0 GHz. The remaining ones are under public consultation and will be considered at the next ECC Plenary meeting in March 2019 for final approval.
ECC appointed Chris Woolford as new ECC Chairman and Jérôme André as new Chairman for its working group spectrum engineering (WG SE). Additional information is available here.
A summary of the outcome from the meeting is available here.
The complete ECC Minutes can be found here.