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RSPG OPINION on WIRELESS ACCESS POLICY FOR ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES. WAPECS - A more flexible spectrum management approach Isolde Goggin Chairperson of COMREG, Ireland, and RSPG Rapporteur on WAPECS. Introduction – role of the RSPG Background – what drove this approach?

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WAPECS - A more flexible spectrum management approachIsolde GogginChairperson of COMREG, Ireland, andRSPG Rapporteur on WAPECS

outline of presentation
Introduction – role of the RSPG

Background – what drove this approach?

The WAPECS Concept

Survey of Member States on WAPECS Frequency Bands

The Public Consultation

The Opinion of the RSPG

Outline of Presentation
the radio spectrum policy group
High level group: assist and advise Commission on radio spectrum policy issues

Adopts opinions addressed to Commission

To date: digital switchover, spectrum trading, and now WAPECS

RSPG deals with high-level strategy: RSCOM adopts technical implementation measures

Keeps a web page at:

The Radio Spectrum Policy Group
background what drove this approach
BACKGROUNDWhat drove this approach?
  • Rapid technology change => explosion in demand for spectrum
  • Increasing Service Convergence
  • Need for faster, more flexible spectrum access
  • EU Policy to Encourage Innovation
  • Moves in some MS to Spectrum Trading
definition of wapecs
Definition of WAPECS

WAPECS is a framework for the provision of electronic communications services (ECS) within a set of frequency bands to be identified and agreed between European Union Member States in which a range of ECS may be offered on a technology and service neutral basis, provided that certain technical requirements to avoid interference are met, to ensure the effective and efficient use of the spectrum, and the authorisation conditions do not distort competition

Topics to be considered

Harmonisation v flexibility

“Big bang” v natural attrition v phased approach

Industrial policy v consumer policy

Services of general interest e.g. broadcasting

rspg survey of member states on wapecs candidate bands
RSPG Survey of Member Stateson WAPECS Candidate Bands

Survey examined:

  • Frequency bands
    • Broadcasting (Terrestrial and Satellite)
    • Land Mobile (PMR, PAMR, GSM, 3G)
    • Fixed links (P2P & P2MP)
    • Short Range Devices
  • Licensing approaches
  • Rights that apply
  • Obligations that apply
  • Entry fees
  • Spectrum related challenges
public consultation 1
Public Consultation - 1

Views were sought on:

  • Proposed definition of WAPECS
  • What constraints, if any, should there be on spectrum used primarily for broadcasting?
  • What specific rules should be applied to safeguard delivery of Services of General Economic Interest (SGEI)?
  • What impact will there be on standardisation?
  • What other challenges should the RSPG consider?
  • Were the proposed steps to achieve the European objectives for WAPECS adequate?
public consultation 2
Public Consultation - 2

37 responses received from a wide range of respondents

Some Results:

  • WAPECS definition acceptable
  • Scope of WAPECS needed to be better defined
  • WAPECS should include both public and private applications
  • Delivery of SGEI must be safeguarded
  • Harmonised use of spectrum important for broadcasting and other services where economies of scale, roaming and interoperability are important
  • Transition to WAPECS regime should be evolutionary, not revolutionary
  • Relationship to spectrum trading and liberalisation issues also seen as a key point
the opinion 1
The Opinion - 1

EU Context

  • Contribution of Spectrum to Lisbon Agenda/i2010
  • Importance of broadband for business and citizen–consumers

Influence of Convergence

  • Old style: separate fixed/mobile/broadcasting spectrum
  • Now: services provided over different access networks competing with each other
  • WAPECS to facilitate converged services and foster innovation and growth
the opinion 2 identified constraints
The Opinion – 2Identified constraints
  • Legacy issues arising from existing fees structure & conditions
  • Lack of flexibility: international agreements, long licence durations, no change of use in harmonised bands
  • Excess of technological prescription in some licences
  • Use of bands by services pursuing general interest objectives (broadcasting, emergency, etc)
  • Use of bands by non-ECSs (protection) (emergency)
the opinion 3 challenges for member states
The Opinion – 3Challenges for Member States
  • Ensure enough spectrum to meet demand, without picking winners or jeopardising SGEI
  • Increasing flexibility and enhancing harmonisation
  • Maintaining a stable and predictable regulatory framework
  • Avoiding fragmentation – consider effect of reduced constraints on harmonised bands
  • Facilitating standardisation through harmonised set of technical requirements
  • Identifying transition arrangements to deal smoothly with legacy issues and share burden equitably
the opinion 4 long term policy goals
The Opinion – 4 Long-term policy goals
  • Facilitate rapid access to spectrum for new technologies to promote competitiveness and innovation
  • Ensure a coherent authorisation scheme
  • Technology neutrality within technical constraints to avoid interference.
  • Service neutrality i.e. Electronic Communications Services (Framework Directive)
the opinion 5 transition to a wapecs framework
The Opinion – 5Transition to a WAPECS framework
  • “Big bang”: disruption/uncertainty for all players (including NRAs)
  • Natural attrition: change licences on expiry - slow, penalises new entrants and consumers
  • Phased approach: implementation packages with target dates.
the opinion 6 action points
The Opinion – 6Action Points

MS and RSCOM invited to identify:

  • Suitable bands for WAPECS
  • Constraints (technical or other)
  • Measures to improve coherence of authorisation and specify technical requirements for implementation of WAPECS in those bands
  • Define implementation packages and actions

First implementation phase:

    • Identify suitable bands for short term and agree schedule for implementation
    • Report back to RSPG on any difficulties
Thank you


WAPECS - A more flexible spectrum management approach