WGRR 21 - 25 April 1997, Warsaw, Poland.
- Seminar on legislation
- Draft ERC Decision concerning the interconnection of PMR and PAMR to PSTNs
- Draft new ERC Decisions on free circulation
- Draft ERC Decision on Mutual Recognition of Conformity Assessment
- Short Range Devices licensing, type approval and marking
- Revision of ERC/REC 21-16
- Decision on the Publication of National Tables of Frequency Allocations
- Free Circulation, Use and Licensing of Mobile Earth Stations of S-PCS services
- Revision of ERC/REC 21-15
- VSAT/SNG licensing Fees and charges
- Maritime work items
- Preparation for WRC 97/WRC 99
- Short Range Business Radio
- CEPT preparations for GMPCS MoU
Seminar on legislation
The first day of the meeting a seminar on legislation was held. The reason for this initiative was that many European administrations are currently in the process of changing their Telecommunications and Radio primary and secondary legislation. Within the ERC it was noted that these legislative activities in the various administrations take place without much information exchange or co-ordination with other administrations, therefore an exchange of information was considered useful.
After a number of general presentations by the chairman of the ERC, a representative of the European Commission and ERO, respectively dealing with: The Radio Act for the 2000´s, describing the objectives of the legislation concerning radio, what should be regulated by the legislation and what not, what are the suitable administrative procedures, how to enforce the legislation and the onslaught of economists. A description of the objectives, the provisions and the consequences of the Licensing Directive, the S-PCS Decision and the New Terminal Directive. The 1997 ERO study on Legislation, which will identify and review the existing and future legislation in the area of radio in the CEPT, point out the main differences, develop proposals for harmonisation and propose a suitable mechanism for exchange of information between the CEPT administrations.
After these general presentations country profiles of the following countries were presented:
United Kingdom: The spectrum pricing White Paper was introduced with its market based spectrum management tools, like auctions and administrative pricing as well as the results of the public consultation and the legislation required to introduce the ideas of this paper. It was emphasised that the intentions of the White Paper is to increase the efficiency of the use of the spectrum and not to price licensees out of spectrum. Some licensees will experience increases of fees many others however decreases.
Switzerland: A description was given of the present and new Telecommunications Act. The new Telecommunications Act is intended to abolish the monopoly and to be a lean framework regulation, compatible with the EU regulation. The new regulatory authorities and their tasks were described as well as the new licensing scheme: first come first served, tender procedures and auctions will be possible. Tender procedures were preferred for the moment. Charges are intended to cover the cost of the administration. The situation of Switzerland as a non-EEA CEPT member was described. CEPT measures were very much appreciated but a tendency that CEPT was loosing influence was feared.
Germany: The steps taken towards liberalisation in Germany were mentioned as well as the new licensing system. Four licence classes have been established: mobile radio licence, satellite licence, other transmission lines licence, telephony licence. When limited resources are available, auctioning and tender procedures possible. The table of frequency allocations will be published in an ordinance having the force of law. Based on this a Frequency Usage Plan will be drafted with the involvement of parties concerned. The frequency assignments shall be done in accordance with this Plan. Types of assignment are: individual assignment, general assignment, another procedure.
Poland: The Polish government has prepared a Telecommunications Development Policy and is preparing a new Telecommunications Act, which will be presented to parliament end 1997. This will be the first time that parliament will discuss the Telecommunications policy. Until now voice telephony was not treated as a market product. Some of the principles on which the new Act are based are: competition, entrance to the market is controlled by concessions, licences and registration procedures, equipment should be in accordance with technical standards and the frequency spectrum is a national resource. The Act will be harmonised with EU regulations. A new organisation of the regulator is under discussion.
Hungary: The Telecommunications and Frequency Management Acts and their planned revision were described as well as the current and foreseen secondary legislation. An overview was given of the rules concerning licensing and frequency charges. Radiocommunication service licences can be given out via auctions or via lotteries. In the Decree on Charges a frequency reservation charge and a frequency usage charge can be levied. Reductions for certain user groups are possible.
Denmark: The different steps taken to arrive at full liberalisation were described and the different laws that are under preparation. Based on guidelines and questions from the minister, a study task was formulated for an external consultant group. The study of this group resulted in the Report: "Analysis of methods for regulation of the radio frequency spectrum". This report concluded that administrative pricing, trading, private management and service auctions all may offer benefits in comparison to the first come first served model and that legal changes necessary to enable their application should be introduced. A Law on Frequency Management will probably be implemented 1 July 1997. There is at the moment no real frequency shortage in Denmark except in very restricted areas, so there is no need to leave the cost based pricing system for more incentive frequency pricing systems. It is envisaged to publish a database of frequency users.
Sweden: The political goals of the existing Telecommunications Act were described as well as the principles in the new Bill of March 1997. The principles of the latter being that regulation by law is preferred rather than licence conditions and that the light regulation approach is maintained. There is a distinction between public operators and dominant operators made. Only the last mentioned need a licence, the others only need to register. Interconnection agreements is primarily a matter between the parties, the NRA has a facilitating and arbitration role. The Radiocommunications Act is from 1993 and its main principle is that basically everybody that claims the need for using radio shall have an allowance. A tender procedure is foreseen when not all licence requests can be granted. This was practised in the awarding of DCS 1800, ERMES and TFTS licences. Auctions are no longer possible under the current law. Fees should cover the administrative cost and no more. In the relation between CEPT regulations and EU regulations some difficulties with the legality of some of the CEPT regulations were encountered. International treaties have no direct working under the Swedish law, they have to be implemented. There should therefore be no contradiction between CEPT and EU regulation and double commitments should be avoided. If CEPT can develop its own solutions this should certainly be done as long as not in derogation of the EU regulation.
In the discussions during the day it became clear that there was an interest to know more about whether it was advisable to have one organisation dealing with Telecommunications and Radio or whether it was more advisable to have two separate organisations. The same question was raised with regard the applicable law(s). Two different organisations might create additional bureaucracy. The tasks of radio and telecom were considered very different but this did not need to lead automatically to two different organisations. Also the deregulation in the radio area might lead it away from telecom.
Another question that was raised in the debate was what should be regulated in the prime legislation and what in the secondary legislation. There was a preference to attribute the power to regulate certain areas in the prime legislation and the detailed regulation in secondary legislation.
It became clear listening to the presentations and the debate that some administrations intended to introduce auctions and administrative pricing, while others did not see this need and were also afraid that it would raise the consumer prices. The money had to come from somewhere and market forces might not work when there were only a few parties. It was however argued that a careful designed auction would not have this effect. The bidders would know what to bid without having adverse effects and raising the consumer prices was not an option in a competitive market. It was considered very important not to hand over the "ownership" of frequencies, but to lease spectrum for a certain limited time period.
On the Licensing directive there was some discussion with regard to Article 11. Does not this Article, which states that in the case of scarce resources administrations can impose charges, leave room for different interpretations in the administrations? This was acknowledged, but administrations should use this escape clause sparsely and the clause should be evaluated after a couple of years. Further there was some discussion whether terminal licences were also covered by the directive. It was concluded that this was a grey area. On the question whether a licence should always be given when sufficient frequencies are available the answer was yes.
With regard to the CTE directive there was an interest to know the time table. This directive is a full co-decision which means that two readings in council and two in the parliament are required. This means that it will take at least another year. It is indented that all radio equipment will be covered by the directive and that module Aa will be used. The ERC/RR will get a more direct role in the directive. CTRs will no longer be required. There will be a legal framework for world-wide conformity assessment. This was considered very important by the audience in relation with UMTS. The manufacturers declaration will form the basis for that. The role of the administrations versus manufacturers and operators was also discussed. To what extent the matters could be left to the manufacturers and the operators and the relations between them? It was argued that the administrations should only concern themselves with the frequencies and the setting of general rules and that as much as possible should be left to the manufacturers, operators and the relation between them. In relation with the GMPCS and conformity procedures in general it was strongly suggested that the EC reconsider their position that the requirements for placing equipment on the market and roaming were necessarily the same. Why not have lighter requirements for roaming?
There was some discussion on whether a frequency allocation table in the law, as envisaged in Germany, was flexible enough to enable changes.
The relation between EMC and the telecommunications law was discussed. There is no strict relation any more and EMC could be regulated in a separate law as is done in Germany at the moment. There were more countries which are considering this approach.
Evaluation The Seminar was evaluated and all participants that filled in the evaluation form indicated to have considered the Seminar interesting. Some of the participants thought that the basic elements of legislation should have been discussed more and that one day was a short time for all the information given. Most preferred the current setting of the Seminar although a minority preferred a smaller expert group. On a possible continuation of this activity no decision was taken yet.
Draft ERC Decision concerning the interconnection of PMR and PAMR to PSTNs
A draft ERC Decision concerning the interconnection of PMR and PAMR to the PSTN has been prepared. According to the draft, administrations should allow the connection of PMR and PAMR networks to the PSTN unless the interconnection results in frequency congestion in certain locations. Based on the discussions of the meeting some changes to the draft Decision were made and it was decided to do some further work on it be between now and the next meeting and not to submit it to the ERC for approval at this stage.
Draft new ERC Decisions on free circulation
A set of new draft ERC Decisions concerning free circulation and use of individual categories of radio equipment was prepared. These are additions to the Decision (95)01 covering DCS 1800, Inmarsat-D, Inmarsat-phone, EMS-Prodat, EMS-MSSAT. It was considered to combine all LMSS terminals under one Decision, but there were substantial objections against this. The draft Decisions were presented to the ERC for approval.
Draft ERC Decision on Mutual Recognition of Conformity Assessment
The ERC approved its latest meeting the Draft ERC Decision on Mutual Recognition of Conformity Assessment, which is at the moment in public consultation. Anticipating the outcome of this there were already several comments from administration on the draft Decision collected during the meeting of RR9. It was decided to arrange a meeting in June in order to discuss all the comments to the Decision.
A point of discussion was again the receivers. According to the draft Decision there will be no requirement for type approvals for receivers. The manufacturers are only required to declare whether the standards are fulfilled or not. The WGRR meeting noted this and considered that the WGSE and ETSI should take this into account.
The meeting also discussed how to implement the Decision. It had been decided by ERC that a data base will be established in ERO, but no work had been started yet. The meeting discussed whether it would be better to have a central data base in ERO or a link from ERO to local data bases in administrations. The meeting decided that RR9 should consider the content of the planned data base.
Short Range Devices licensing, type approval and marking
The meeting gave its final comments on the draft Recommendation as prepared by WGFM. The conformity and marking scheme was brought in line with the Draft Decision on Conformity assessment and comments on the maintenance procedures of the Recommendation were given.
Revision of ERC/REC 21-16
It was decided to add marking specifications for EMS-PRODAT, INMARSAT Mini-M (phones) and EMS-MSSAT equipment into the ERC Recommendation 21-16 on interim type approval procedures for LMSS mobile earth stations. The revised draft ERC Recommendation will be circulated to administrations for comments in writing within 4-6 weeks.
Decision on the Publication of National Tables of Frequency Allocations
The ERC had decided at its latest meeting that the ERO should prepare an informative document for the administrations containing information of the format in which the frequency allocation data can be communicated to ERO. Such a letter was discussed at the meeting and it was decided that it will be given for comments to the appropriate persons in each administration.
Free Circulation, Use and Licensing of Mobile Earth Stations of S-PCS services
The ERC had adopted provisionally for public consultation the draft Decision the draft Decision on free circulation, use and licensing of S-PCS terminals. The public consultation phase will end at 30 May 1997 and the ERC intends to decide on the final adoption at its meeting 30 June - 4 July. It was decided that a drafting group would be entitled to consider the comments received at the public consultation. The group would convene in the context of joint meeting of PT 22 and ECTRA Mobile PT.
Revision of ERC/REC 21-15
Another revision of this Recommendation on free circulation and use of LMMS mobile earth stations, adding EMS-MSSAT equipment to it was decided on. The Recommendation will be circulated to administrations for comments in writing within 4-6 weeks.
An ERC Report with an application form for VSAT/SNG satellite earth station licences was approved at the RR meeting. This will be published.
The ERC meeting had preliminary approved the draft Decision for the provision of information for a central database on VSAT and SNG. This Decision is now under public consultation until the 30th of May.
A start has been made with the building up of the database giving information on VSAT/SNG licensing in the different administrations. The texts of three administrations have been made available on the ETO web-site.
Fees and charges
The meeting was informed about the progress RR8 made in preparing a draft ERC Report on charging matters. The Report will discuss the introduction of economic criteria in frequency management, the principles of financing the radio administrations and the existing charges and charging principles. There was also an introduction given by the vice.chairmab of ITU-R study group 1 on the studies that are being done within ITU-R on the introduction of economic criteria in frequency management. A draft ITU-R Report is expected to be presented to the next WP 1B meeting in Geneva 21-25 July. The meeting was of the opinion that the CEPT work should be consistent with ITU-R work.
Maritime work items
The meeting recognised that in some countries the responsibilities concerning maritime radio had been transferred from radio administration to the maritime administration. This caused difficulties within those CEPT administrations who were not responsible for maritime radio. RR2 was requested to consider, whether something should be done with regard to its terms of reference or its position in the CEPT organisation.
Preparation for WRC 97/WRC 99 RR2 has been working on a number of small revisions to the ECPs and associated briefs, which were sent for approval to the CPG. It was decided to split up the three ECPs dealing with maritime items into ten smaller ECPs to make it easier for administrations to sign them.
Short Business Radio
A document from ERO on the three preferred frequency bands by administrations for SRBR was noted. After it has become clear which of the frequency bands have been chosen by WGFM there will be need to consider the regulatory matters. This will be done at the next RR meeting.
CEPT preparations for GMPCS MoU
The RR chairman reported on the work done at the meetings of the ERC/ECTRA joint project team for GMPCS MoU as well as the GMPCS MoU meeting 3-4 April 1997 in Geneva. He also explained the expected future developments. The working documents on licensing, type approval, customs arrangements and access to traffic data will be combined into one document which will be circulated within a couple of weeks for comments. Since there will be no CEPT meeting before the small group which is tasked with preparing for the next GMPCS-MoU meeting, the exchange of opinions will be organised by correspondence.
Next meeting of the RRWG
The next meeting of the RR WG will take place in Reykjavik, Iceland from 8 - 12 September 1997.
The following agenda items are currently scheduled to be considered.
- The implementation and consequences of the Decision on mutual recognition of conformity
- A revision of ERC Report 12 giving guidance notes on the conformity assessment Decision
- CEPT preparations for the GMPCS MoU
- The progress on a draft ERC Report on licensing conditions
- A draft ERC Decision for interconnection of PMR and PAMR to PSTNs
- The progress on a draft ERC Report on charging
- Interim reports of ERO studies on legislation, non-EEA conformity assessment and free circulation with other regions.