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Liberal Spectrum Management. Andreas Orr Askland Legal Adviser Frequency Department Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority. Background. “Command and control” Static approach Strict connection between radio service and assigned frequency band/channel

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liberal spectrum management
Liberal Spectrum Management

Andreas Orr Askland

Legal Adviser

Frequency Department

Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority

  • “Command and control”
    • Static approach
    • Strict connection between radio service and assigned frequency band/channel
  • Last decades stronger focus on international harmonization of frequency usage
    • transition to spectrum management based on user needs (trading/flexible use)
norwegian spectrum reform
Norwegian spectrum reform
  • For many years based upon traditional frequency management principles
  • In the beginning of the present millennium NPT took initiatives to a significantly more flexible management scheme, in order to:
    • increase competition
    • increase assignments and utilization
    • reduce management costs and red tape
    • reduce transaction costs
    • potentially increase the value of the spectrum and the benefits for end users and the society at whole
frequency management
Frequency management
  • ”The user oriented model”
    • User = licence owner
    • Companies/operators have a much better knowledge than the regulator of the end users needs
    • Know how these best can be accommodated through choice of technology and organization of the service provision
    • Let these companies/operators have a greater freedom of choice and the ability to administer the frequency resources in a flexible manner
    • Technology and service neutrality management
technology neutrality
Technology neutrality
  • Licence not restricted to a specific technology
    • The licensee chooses freely from the beginning which technology to use and may also decide later to change the technology in use
  • Must comply with spectrum mask defined at the band edge, unless otherwise agreed with neighbouring licensees
  • The “mask concept” is not completely neutral

Most spectrum licences awarded by the NPT since 2000 are neutral in this respect

service neutrality
Service neutrality
  • No (or few) restrictions on what type of service is allowed in the frequency band assigned
  • Often connected to whether mobility is allowed or not
harmonization vs flexibility
Harmonization vs. flexibility
  • Harmonization has shown to be a good thing – in justified cases
  • It is not necessarily a “solution for everything”
    • May impede innovation
    • Unused/unassigned spectrum for years and years
    • Small vs. big markets, “one size does not fit all”
  • Harmonization does not need to be forced upon the market
  • Voluntary harmonization comes naturally in evolved markets
general procedures in licensing
General procedures in licensing
  • “Open, transparent, non-discriminatory”
  • Anyone can apply for vacant spectrum or for spectrum in which existing licences expire in less than 3 years
  • Information in anonymised format about received applications is published (“polling of demand”)
    • Other interested parties may come forward
  • Auctions are the default means of assigning spectrum when demand for spectrum exceeds supply
  • Information on the status of frequency assignments shall be updated and available for all
  • NPT has a list of vacant frequency resources
  • Also a list of assigned frequencies (spectrum licences) and the identity of the users they are assigned to
  • The NPT frequency portal is continuously being updated
  • Previously, the initiative for auctions was taken by the authorities
  • Except for special cases, auctions will be triggered by an application for spectrum
  • Publication of the application received  further parties showing interest  not enough spectrum for all  authorities announce that auction will be held and define auction rules
  • Auctions announced and interested parties invited to bid according to defined rules
2 6 ghz auction
2.6 GHz auction
  • Auction originally planned for April 2007, but postponed to November 2007 – first in Europe
  • Public consultations:
    • September 2006 (CEPT band “centre gap”)
    • April 2007 (mainly spectrum cap)
    • July 2007 (band plan, spectrum masks)
  • Technology neutral approach – spectrum opportunity for UMTS/IMT as well as other technologies
  • Regional plan, Norway divided into six regions
  • Deviation from the CEPT plan, increased possibilities for unpaired spectrum
  • Auction over the Internet. Software provided by DotEcon

Incumbent operator 2G/3G

Mobile operator 2G/3G

Awarded to Hafslund in a single bid auction in February 2008

trading of frequency licences
Trading of frequency licences
  • A “market” for frequencies
  • No restriction on what can be traded
    • Licences may be divided geographically, spectrally, in time or in “layers”
    • A licensee may hire out frequencies
  • Some forms of trade must be notified and approved by the authorities
  • Challenge: Who owns which licence?
    • In order to trade efficiently, the market needs a means to get hold of this information
  • High compared to previous technology neutral auctions €0.033/MHz/population
  • 3.5 GHz raised €0.0076/MHz/pop
  • Swedish 2.6 GHz raised approx €0.137/MHz/pop
    • Difference in competition in the 3G market
    • More “equal” market players in Sweden
  • Finland €0.0031/MHz/population
  • The Netherlands €0.00132/MHz/population
summary liberal spectrum management
Summary: Liberal Spectrum Management
  • The user oriented model
  • Neutrality
  • Few restrictions
  • Tradability
  • Shortest possible time to assign licences
  • Easy to access information on web
  • Promote technology neutral regulations in international negotiations

Thank you for your attention