Draft Statement On Refarming For The Information Memorandum - UACG(99)15
|The Governments position on refarming of spectrum
will be set out in the Information Memorandum for the auction. It is reproduced below for
the information of UACG members. The consultation on this paper is not the consultation
referred to in paragraph 5 of the draft. That consultation is not expected to take place
until after decisions by the ERC. However, the Radiocommunications Agency would welcome
any comments on the drafting of the statement. In particular, does the draft statement set
out the position clearly, and in a way which meets the information needs of potential
Comments should be received by noon on Tuesday 8 June 1999 by:
Please note that the RA returns to its headquarters in Docklands with effect from 1 June. Telephone, fax and e-mail contact details will be unchanged.
"Refarming" in the context of third generation mobile communications means the re-allocation of spectrum currently licensed for use with equipment complying with GSM or DCS 1800 standards to allow the use of equipment complying with a third generation standard.
2. Spectrum at 900 MHz and 1800 MHz is identified by the ITU for mobile telecommunications. Decisions at WRC-2000 on identifying additional spectrum for 3G are expected to result in the spectrum at 900 and 1800 MHz being identified for IMT2000. To meet the total forecast demand for IMT2000, WRC needs also to consider whether bands beyond the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2 GHz bands can also be identified for IMT2000.
3. Within Europe, the ERC have designated the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands for use with GSM and DCS 1800 standards respectively. There is also an EC Decision relating to GSM in the 900 MHz band. The UK would expect that an ERC Decision should be developed, providing for 3G use of 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, before it could be so used, to ensure that refarming takes place within the framework of European spectrum management. Also, in respect of use of these bands for UMTS, a change to the EC UMTS Decision would be required.
4. Following any decision by the ERC that the 2G spectrum may be used to provide services based on a 3G radio interface, and taking account of whether an appropriate amendment to the UMTS Decision has been made, the Government will consider how and when this should be implemented within the UK.
5. Before reaching a decision the Government would intend to hold a public consultation. This would need to cover a number of issues including the timing and scope of refarming and the means by which any refarmed spectrum would be assigned and the level of and arrangements for corresponding licence fees . It would need to take account of views from inter alia 2G and 3G licensees and their customers, and reflect Government telecommunications policy at the time, as well as the requirements of national, European and international legislation.
6. The Government would not seek to delay refarming for the purpose of creating any artificial scarcity of spectrum for mobile telecommunications. That assurance notwithstanding, it is not possible at present to make any commitments to existing 2G licensees regarding use of the spectrum currently assigned to them for purposes other than those covered by their existing licences. Similarly it is not possible for the Government to make any commitments to potential 3G licensees on the future allocation of spectrum currently designated for 2G. However, in order to pursue its objectives of effective and sustainable competition in the provision of mobile telecommunications services, the Government would expect to take account of potential effects on the viability of existing licensees and of the case for rectifying any distortions in the market caused by historic assignments.
Radiocommunications Agency Auction Team
7 May 1999