This statement confirms that, following a formal consultation, the Wireless Telegraphy (Mobile Communication Services on Board Ships) (Exemption) Regulations 2011 (the "Regulations") were made by us on 10 February 2011, and are coming into force on 10 March 2011. A copy of the Regulations can be obtained through the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI).
The Regulations create a new exemption to allow terminals to connect to a system providing mobile communication on board ships on a licence-exempt basis providing they meet certain technical requirements.
In addition to the Regulations, from 10 March 2011, holders of a Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (the "WT Act") Ships Radio Licence can request us to vary their licence to allow the installation and use of a mobile communication on board ship base station. We would then issue a Notice of Variation ("NoV"). A copy of the NoV is contained in Annex 2.
Mobile Communication Services on Board Ships consist of one or more pico-cell base stations on board a ship (ship-BS) to which mobile terminals used by passengers connect.
Our decision implements the European Commission Decision of 19 March 2010 on harmonised conditions of use of radio spectrum for mobile communication services on board vessels (MCV services) in the European Union (2010/166/EU) (the "MCV Decision") . The MCV Decision aims to complement existing mobile connectivity when operating in those areas of the territorial seas of European Union Member States that are not covered by land based mobile networks. Member States have until 12 March 2011 to implement the MCV Decision.
The use of such a service is therefore subject to the usage restrictions set out in the MCV Decision and a number of technical restrictions outlined in our Interface Requirement IR 2082 . Specifically, the restrictions include:
- The system providing such services shall not be used closer than 2 nautical miles from the baseline; and
- Only indoor shipBS shall be used between 2 to 12 nautical miles from the baseline.
Before deciding to make the Regulations, in accordance with the requirements of section 122(4) of the WT Act, we published a Statutory Notice (the "Notice") on 19 November 2010 containing a draft of the Regulations (the "Proposed Regulations") and invited comments from stakeholders. In the Notice, we also consulted on a draft NoV.
We received no comments on the Proposed Regulations and NoV. Given this, we have decided to proceed with making the Regulations and NoV with some minor modification. This statement confirms that we have made the necessary changes required to implement the MCV Decision.