Radio Engineering, RAN -

Spectrum Policy Planning

Spectrum Planning

The design of a national spectrum policy requires a significant amount of planning.

Every regulator has to interact with international, regional, national and local agencies and users when embarking upon the design of a national spectrum policy.

Current spectrum use
It is imperative that the national spectrum regulatory body establishes a database of the current use and users of the national spectrum resource. There will be a range of bodies which have access to information regarding their own use of spectrum. Such bodies will be the defence forces, police forces, broadcasters, telecommunications service providers etc. All of this information should be input to a national frequency register.

Future spectrum use
It is very difficult to predict future spectrum use, but imperative that the spectrum authority formulates an accurate a picture as possible as to the likely future use and demands. Regulators need to stay abreast of developments in radio services and technologies and be prepared to make judgement calls as to the applicability of such to the nation. Current spectrum users are a good source of information regarding future trends and requirements. Once again it is also invaluable to maintain international and regional awareness of spectrum developments.

National frequency allocation table
A national FAT (Frequency Allocation Table) should be produced as soon as is practically possible. It is an essential element of any national spectrum policy. The document will allow potential investors, public and commercial service providers, etc. to identify what services are allocated to which bands. It is important to ensure that services are consistent with international and regional allocations. It is essential that it is maintained and updated, and at least after each WRC (World Radio Conference).

National spectrum policy committee
This body should include all stakeholders which are major users of the nation’s spectral resource. The committee should set the strategic direction for the national spectrum policy. It should meet regularly to discuss the future and current spectrum needs of all parties. It is central to the debate on how a nation will determine the use of shared bands. This is also the body that should prepare the nation’s position regarding WRC agenda items.

Consultative practices
Consultations will be undertaken periodically. These could be via the National Spectrum Management Committee, at the ITU level, the Regional level, or between the spectrum management authority and a specific spectrum user set such as the telecommunications industry. Example consultation exercises might be “how to determine the level of spectrum fees for Private Mobile Radio users”, or “whether a block of spectrum should be auctioned or not”.

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