The basic task of radio spectrum regulation is to eliminate the possibilities of interference. Any use of spectrum has three dimensions; frequency, place and time. If more users are transmitting at the same frequency in the same place and at the same time their communication will be damaged or interrupted. An example would be WiFi or an overcrowded FM band.
We need to avoid interference, for this reason plans are prepared and radio channels are coordinated on both a national and international level. It could be solved on the principle of first come, first served, meaning the first applicant will receive the requested frequency and the second one should choose another one. This principle is workable only if there is a very large amount of spectrum available. otherwise it could lead to a situation where some users have more spectrum resources than others. All countries should have equal rights to use spectrum and that is why the International Telecommunication Union is involved in the coordination and planning of spectrum allocation.
The differences between international and national spectrum planning
International plans are in their nature unlikely to respect different terrains. Consequently coordination between neighbouring countries is needed before transmitters can be launched. often there is the possibility to arrange for more transmitters using frequencies which are not included in the international plan.
International agreements and involves the spectrum users as they have all the relevant information about radio conditions in the localities. International agreements and plans like the Stockholm 61 Agreement are expected to be a transparent to provide a predictable environment for businesses. Currently the situation is changing and the Geneva 2006 agreement which is still not fully implemented is broken by so called digital dividends. The agreement does not give a certainty about long term use of already planned and coordinated frequency.
The latest development in the EU shows that EU policy takes priority over any national plans. In document RsCoM-57 related to 800 Mhz (p.3) the Commission wrote: ’In several cases, derogation requests are justified by the continued use of the 800 Mhz band for broadcasting purposes, either analogue or digital, in particular in border areas. Member states should take appropriate measures to prevent the spill-over of broadcasting emissions from their territory into adjacent Member state.’
Is EU limiting international agreement?
WorldDMB members are invited to the Regulatory and spectrum Committee meeting where issues such as these are discussed. Visit the WorldDMB website for more information: http://www.worlddab.org
WorldDMB Regulatory and Spectrum Committee