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European practices in trading of spectrum usage rights 14th Economics of Infrastructures Conference Delft University of Technology, 26-27 May 2011. Alexander Gulyaev, ECO CEPT and its Committes. The work of CEPT is conducted by three autonomous Committees:

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European practices intrading of spectrum usage rights14th Economics of Infrastructures Conference Delft University of Technology, 26-27 May 2011

Alexander Gulyaev,

cept and its committes

CEPT and its Committes

The work of CEPT is conducted by three autonomous Committees:

The Electronic Communications Committee (ECC)

The European Committee for Postal Regulation (CERP)

The Committee for ITU Policy (COM-ITU)

CEPT portal:





ecc structure and mission

ECC: Structure and Mission













Numbering, Naming




Preparatory Group

ECC Mission Statement:

The Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) brings together 48 countries to develop common policies and regulations in electronic communications and related applications for Europe, and to provide the focal point for information on spectrum use. Its primary objective is to harmonise the efficient use of the radio spectrum, satellite orbits and numbering resources across Europe. It takes an active role at the international level, preparing common European proposals to represent European interests in the ITU and other international organisations.

recent ecc survey of 2011

Recent ECC Survey of 2011

The survey sought factual information on the procedures of trading and leasing of spectrum usage rights

22 European countries responded to the survey

ECC Report 169 (published on 25 May 2011) presents the findings of this study

Actual data is summarised in the Report on transactions in various frequency bands and for different applications

Important observation: the role of the regulatory authority is to ensure that the competition is maintained without active intervention in the market situation

findings of ecc report 169

Findings of ECC Report 169

Existing regulatory framework:

CEPT: no recommendations with respect to national legal frameworks for rights of use

EU: harmonised legal framework in the context of ECN&S: the “Framework” Directive (2002/21/EC amended by 2009/140/EC) and the “Authorisation” Directive (2002/20/EC amended by 2009/140/EC)

EU Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) Opinion 04-54 “Secondary trading of rights to use radio spectrum” (2004)

European Frequency Information System (EFIS): national information on the rights of use

findings of ecc report 1691

Findings of ECC Report 169

The EU “Framework” Directive:

General authorisations: cannot be transferred as, by definition, the spectrum can be accessed without individual authorisation and therefore there is no exclusive right to be traded.

Individual rights of use (“licences”): are granted in order to:

avoid harmful interference;

ensure technical quality of service;

safeguard efficient use of spectrum;

fulfill other objectives of general interest as defined by Member States in conformity with Community law

and may be subject to trading.

The European Commission may identify ECN&S bands for which individual rights may be transferred or leased (except broadcasting). In other bands the choice to allow secondary trading is left to MS.

findings of ecc report 1692

Findings of ECC Report 169

European regulatory landscape and milestones of introducing secondary trading:

4 countries (Cyprus, Estonia, Ireland and Russia) out of the 22 do not allow secondary trading of spectrum usage rights

Trading was allowed in Europe as early as in 1997 in Denmark (except broadcasting services and military spectrum) and in 1998 in Switzerland

Most European countries introduced trading triggered by the adoption of the RSPG Opinion 04-54 on “secondary trading”: Austria, Norway and Sweden (2003), UK and Portugal (2004) and all other countries that currently allow trading after 2006

findings of ecc report 1693

Findings of ECC Report 169

Two ‘levels’ of individual authorisations observed in Europe:

National/regional: an authorisation to deploy a network within a defined frequency band and geographical area (most transactions registered)

Site-specific: an authorisation for a single transmitter (a few transactions registered)

findings of ecc report 1694

Findings of ECC Report 169

Typical public information on individual authorisations (available on the NRA websites or on request) :

Reference of the authorisation (licence)

Dates of issue and expiration

Type of licence

Information on licence holder (name and address)

Information about the licensed spectrum (exact frequency bands, optionally other details)

Geographical information, transmitter sites

Technical data

findings of ecc report 1695

Findings of ECC Report 169

Some of the observed reasons for revoking individual rights of use:

underuse of spectrum, or frequency use has not commenced as prescribed

bankruptcy, insolvency of the licensee

omission to pay the licence fee

change of national frequency plan (refarming)

the licensee has been convicted of an offense

terms of licence have been breached

state commitments to international harmonisation, or frequencies have not been coordinated in international negotiations

need to satisfy public interest, such as media policy, military usage, emergency services, etc.

unlawful use of frequencies that affects the interests of individuals, society or state

findings of ecc report 1696

Findings of ECC Report 169

Reported trading options:

Some parameters of licences can be subdivided (namely, the frequency allotment, the geographical area and the duration of licence) which gives the possibility of partial transfer of usage rights and has a potential of increasing the spectrum efficiency:

13 countries stated that usage rights can be partially traded in frequency;

11 countries stated that usage rights can be partially traded in geography;

7 countries stated that usage rights can be partially traded in time

findings of ecc report 1697

Findings of ECC Report 169

The typical trading procedure includes:

Notification of the intention to trade

Publication of the notified information

Approval of transaction by NRA

Publication of the final transaction

findings of ecc report 1698

Findings of ECC Report 169

1. Notification of the intention to trade:

consent of the holder of the usage rights

information about the seller and the buyer to check that the competition is not infringed (should indicate whether the parties are part of the same undertaking)

reference information of the usage rights (e.g. licence number)

planned date of the transfer

financial and, optionally, other conditions of the transfer

findings of ecc report 1699

Findings of ECC Report 169

2. Publication of the notified information:

general information about both parties

information on the licence (may include frequencies, technical details, geographical territory)

business sensitive information may not be published

findings of ecc report 16910

Findings of ECC Report 169

3. Approval of transaction by NRA

The grounds to refuse the transaction may include:

negative impact on competition

the new licence holder cannot guarantee obligations associated with the licence;

risk of interference

jeopardizing the efficient use of spectrum

compliance with the state international obligations, and other reasons

findings of ecc report 16911

Findings of ECC Report 169

4. Publication of the final transaction

For EU countries information on the transaction must be made public and may include:

identity of the parties

references to the original and the new authorisations

date at which the transfer becomes effective

geographical area

frequency bands

findings of ecc report 16912

Findings of ECC Report 169

Observed trading activities by application:

PMR (9 countries)

Fixed wireless access including BWA (12 countries)

IMT (8 countries)

Fixed links (10 countries)

PMSE (prof. radio microphones) (3 countries)

Satellites (5 countries)

findings of ecc report 16913

Findings of ECC Report 169

Reported types of spectrum use for which usage rights may not be transferred:

spectrum assigned to activities relating to defense and security of the state, or

maintenance of the public order, or

state emergency services, or

civil aviation, or

security of railway traffic, or

stable and reliable functioning of energy system, or

other non-commercial functions of the state (including foreign affairs) and its institutions

findings of ecc report 16914

Findings of ECC Report 169

Other findings of the Report are related to:

intensity of trading (how often, how much)

advantages and drawbacks of trading

impact on competition

leasing procedures

no questions thank you
No questions?

Thank you!

findings of ecc report 16915

Findings of ECC Report 169

My questions are:

What are the driving forces and the obstacles, at the current stage, for introduction of spectrum trading in Europe (administrative, economic or technical?)

Whether it’s time now for European harmonisation of spectrum trading rules? What are the benefits and would they offset the drawbacks if the “rules of the game” are harmonised at the current stage?