Published on February 26, 2014
UK Spectrum Policy Forum - The Emergency Services and Business Radio Sector Paul Jarvis & Kuha Sithamparanthan 11 December 2013
Emergency Services UK Spectrum Policy Forum Kuha Sithamparanathan 1
Ofcom’s role • Ofcom is the spectrum regulator for the UK. We are responsible for the optimum use of the UK’s finite resource of spectrum. • We also represent the UK in international spectrum management forums. We discuss cross-border use of spectrum and develop harmonised approaches to spectrum questions with other countries. 2
Relevant international forums • Standards – The HO represents ES stakeholders in the standards organisations (3GPP etc) to make sure the required functionality is available on equipment in all LTE bands • Spectrum policy – Ofcom represents the UK in CEPT and at the ITU WRC which will discuss the future of the 700 MHz band. – Our aim, as agreed by all parts of the UK Government, is to retain as much flexibility as possible in the band plan adopted for 700 MHz and to leave it to each country to decide whether or not to dedicate a sub-band for ES 3
The UK line on 700 MHz in preparation for WRC-15 • Support the provision of Mobile Broadband that achieves the maximum spectrum and economic efficiencies • Support the inclusion of PPDR services in the 700MHz band in as flexible a manner as possible without the need for an internationally mandated and exclusive allocation for PPDR • Support International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) as a delivery platform for PPDR, not just in 700 MHz but in other IMT bands as well • Support the non-encroachment of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) channel 48 by mobile broadband services (maintain the lower mobile limit as 694 MHz) to maintain current broadcast coverage levels from the existing 6 DTT multiplexes. 4
ES objectives • We understand the objectives of the Emergency Services for future comms services include: – More wireless capacity to support broadband applications alongside critical voice functionality – A clear roadmap for continuous future innovation through merging ES requirements with the mainstream development path of public mobile services – Flexible provision of services by suppliers; – Reduced costs of service provision and equipment • Ofcom is working closely with the ESMCP to ensure that UK spectrum regulations and allocations do everything possible to support these objectives. 5
Harmonised spectrum • A harmonised approach across Europe may help to keep down the costs of network services and equipment • Further spectrum is likely to be harmonised for LTE (eg 700 MHz) • The benefits of mainstream development and reduced cost are likely to come in all LTE spectrum bands (not just 700 MHz) 6
Dedicated spectrum has disadvantages • • • • • • Accessible capacity Spectrum efficiency Flexibility in operations Commercial terms Higher costs Longer timescales 7
Summary • Ofcom aims to keep the options open for UK ES needs to be met as flexibly and as cost-efficiently as possible. • Ofcom supports ESMCP’s work defining the needs of the ES 8
Business Radio UK Spectrum Policy Forum Paul Jarvis 9
Business Radio Overview 2013 Licence class Customers Licences Simple UK (Light) 9796 10222 Simple Site (Light) 4382 8009 Suppliers (Light) 712 720 13896 27095 97 218 28883 46294 Technically Assigned Area Defined Total Note. It is unknown how many terminals are in use. 10
Business Radio Overview • PMR is used by companies to provide critical communications Firms that use PMR say that is essential to their business operations. In some cases is safety critical – man down/loan worker • Precisely tailored to give reliable and resilient, Instant, Coverage, Functionality, Control and controllable Costs Does this remain robust for the foreseeable future? • Licensees have a choice of supplier and technologies – Analogue, dPMR (NXDN), DMR, TETRA • Ofcom offers a range of channels between 6.25 kHz and 25 kHz (others assessed on request) • Migration from analogue to digital is taking place with Digital representing around 80% of new sales (replacement and new) 11
Strategic Review of UHF Ofcom Annual Plan 2014/15 12
UHF Strategic Review Considering: • • • • • Pundits predict up to 300 x increase in data communications in next 10 years Increasing demand for digital PMR technologies and functionality Some demand for wider bandwidth systems No obvious new spectrum available Increase in Continental interference reports • UHF 1 – MoD band that is constrained for civil use in geographic locations • UHF 2 – only about 1/3 of the bandwidth available for PMR; • So what options do we have? – Re-plan the band to optimise channel plan – Increase the level of sharing – More precise engineering to match coverage needed – Use of more efficient technology 13
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