How is Radio Spectrum Allocation

how is the radio spectrum regulation and what is radio spectrum management and what are radio waves electromagnetic spectrum how the radio spectrum works
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        Department of Business and Management Chair of Competition Law and Economics What is the digital dividend? State of play in Europe Supervisors Prof. Andrea Renda Luiss Guido Carli University Prof. Erik Bohlin Chalmers University of Technology Candidate Maria Massaro Matr. 640911 Co–supervisor Prof. Roberto Pardolesi Luiss Guido Carli University ACCADEMIC YEAR 2012/2013 What is the digital dividend? State of play in Europe Maria Massaro Luiss Guido Carli University Abstract Radio spectrum is a public resource, conventionally defined as the portion of electromagnetic spectrum characterised by waves with frequency varying between 3 kHz and 3000 GHz. At the international level, the use of the radio spectrum is managed and coordinated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Within the international framework defined by ITU, each country is entitled to manage the radio spectrum according to national interests. Moreover, regional organisations stand between the international and national layers. The role played by regional organisations is related to the convention introduced by ITU to divide the world into three Regions: Europe, Africa, the Middle East and northern part of Asia are included in Region 1, the Americas and some of the eastern pacific islands constitute Region 2, the southern part of Asia and Oceania are comprised in Region 3. For many years, great part of the radio spectrum below 1 GHz has been allocated to analogue terrestrial broadcasting. However, with the advent of digital terrestrial television (DTT) and the consequent digital switchover a significant amount of the radio spectrum, in particular in the UHF band, has been freed up. In fact, DTT uses spectrum far more efficiently than analogue terrestrial television, requiring a smaller amount of spectrum in order to transmit the same content. The amount of spectrum that is above that nominally required to accommodate existing analogue television services in a digital form is defined as digital dividend. In 2007 the ITU decided to allocate the upper part of the UHF band, released by the digital switchover, to the mobile service on a co-primary basis with terrestrial television. Moreover, in 2012, the ITU expanded the digital dividend including the 694-790 MHz band, in ITU Region 1, which will host both television broadcasting and mobile service on a co-primary basis from 2016. The main purpose of the present thesis is to retrace the primary stages that have marked the evolution of the digital dividend issue. Nevertheless, the aim is to start early on, from a bit of history regarding the development of electromagnetic theory and the studies on radio waves, trying to gradually give the reader, which is not into this field, all the tools necessary to understand how events took place and why certain decisions were made, in particular in Europe. Keywords: digital dividend, World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), mobile services, digital terrestrial television (DTT).   iii    1. Introduction 1.1. Summary In recent years, there has been rapid development in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, which has given birth to a huge variety of new services. In particular, the last twenty years have seen an exponential growth of mobile usage across the globe, with an explosion in terms of products, applications and contents offered by operators. Society is becoming more mobile, so more radio spectrum is required for the provision of mobile services. In fact, mobile communications rely on the use of the radio spectrum. Radio spectrum is a public resource, conventionally defined as the portion of electromagnetic spectrum characterised by waves with frequency varying between 3 kHz and 3000 GHz. In each country, these frequencies are allocated to different public and private services with the aim to pursue a wide range of economic, social and scientific purposes. Among other unique properties, spectrum is considered a scarce resource, namely it has limited availability. In fact it is subject to congestion, as signals transmitted on the same or adjoining frequencies at the same time and in the same location can cause interference, which reduces or nullifies the usability of spectrum. It is worth clarifying that radio spectrum is an artificial entity, an abstract mathematical idea introduced by the French mathematician and physicist Jean- Baptiste Fourier (1768-1830). It is not an existing and limited resource that has to be shared between different and more and more usages. It is actually the result of the regulation and the management of a universal natural phenomenon: radio waves. Given the propagation characteristics of radio signals, limitation in the use of the radio spectrum is mainly due to the lack of availability of proper technologies and equipment, and frequency bands fitting for each type of service. Instead of saying that it is scarce, radio spectrum can be considered a “permanently constrained resource”. Scarcity can be seen as a cyclic problem that has to be faced periodically. Along with continuous technological changes and improvements that increase spectrum capacity and make spectrum better usable, more efficient and 1 effective spectrum management approaches are needed. An improper                                                                                                                           1 R. Struzak (2003). Introduction to International Radio Regulations, in S. M. Radicella (ed.), The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics ICTP Lecture Notes, Trieste, Italy, 2-22 February 2003. Available at: http://wireless.ictp.trieste.it/school_2003/lectures/struzak/Introduction_to_Radio_Regulations/Introductio n_to_International_Radio_Regulations.doc; J.-M., Chaduc, G. Pogorel (2008). The Radio Spectrum. Managing a strategic resource. London, UK, New Jersey, USA: ISTE Ltd and John Wiley & Sons, Inc..   1    management approach can determine a suboptimal allocation of spectrum, creating artificial shortages and surplus across spectrum, leaving spectrum bands underused or misused. Basically, technological progress, spectrum management and demand of existing and new services together determine the use of radio frequencies. The goal is to actively find the right balance between them, in an extremely dynamic environment. With regard to technological progress, the recent introduction of digital television (DTV) services is considered the most important development in the television field after the introduction of colour television in 1950s. With the advent of DTV, terrestrial broadcasting has become the centre of world attention, as digital terrestrial television (DTT) uses spectrum far more efficiently than analogue terrestrial television, requiring a smaller amount of spectrum in order to transmit the same content. The transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting has been occurring all over the world. With this transition process, a significant part of the radio spectrum in particular in the UHF band has been freed up. These frequencies can be used for the provision of other services, in particular mobile services. The amount of spectrum that is above that nominally required to accommodate existing analogue television services in a digital form is defined as digital dividend. It is important to fully understand the revolutionary impact of the digital dividend, which has been destabilizing the existing radio spectrum usage. It is worth noting that the digital dividend is part of the spectrum located between 200 MHz and 1 GHz, which is considered the most valuable part of the entire radio spectrum worldwide. It offers an attractive balance between transmission capacity and geographic coverage, which makes it suitable for a wide range of different uses. Keeping in mind this precious combination of key features, it can be easily understood why it is extremely rare to find unused UHF frequencies. Therefore, the digital dividend, which is a fairly large portion of the UHF spectrum, represents an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to boost the growth of the ICT sector and a golden chance to meet the exponential demand for spectrum fuelled by mobile communications, by means of a more efficient use of the radio spectrum. The allocation of the digital dividend is without any doubt an international issue. First of all because cross-border frequency coordination, where countries jointly agree on the same use of certain frequencies, is needed in order to avoid harmful interference with would impede the effective use of the spectrum by each country. In fact, radio emissions are not confined by national borders, as in their propagation, waves do not recognise boundaries, so they can cross frontiers and cause unwelcome interference. Moreover, a worldwide frequency harmonisation of the digital dividend usage would create enormous social and economic benefits for the mobile industry, the consumers and thus the whole economy.   2    At the international level, the use of the radio-frequency spectrum is managed and coordinated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Within the international framework defined by ITU, each country is entitled to manage the radio spectrum according to national interests. However, although allocating the digital dividend falls ultimately within national prerogatives, regional organisations stand between the international and national layers. The role played by regional organisations is related to the convention introduced by ITU to divide the world into three Regions: Europe, Africa, the Middle East and northern part of Asia are included in Region 1; the Americas and some of the eastern pacific islands constitute Region 2; the southern part of Asia and Oceania are comprised in Region 3. The current trend shows a greater centralisation of spectrum decisions moving from national to regional level, in particular in Europe. With specific regard to the digital dividend issue, in 2007 the ITU decided to allocate the upper part of the UHF band, released by the digital switchover, to the mobile service on a co-primary basis with terrestrial television. The allocation has been done, in each Region, as follows: 698-806 MHz band in Region 2 and nine countries in Region 3 (Bangladesh, China, Korea, India, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Singapore); 790-862 MHz band in Region 1 and Region 3. Within this new framework, national Spectrum Management Authorities (SMAs) have the freedom to choose which service should use the digital dividend, under the condition of bilateral or multilateral agreements with neighbouring countries about the selected use, in order to manage interference problems. Even though the allocation of those frequencies to mobile service is not compulsory, the growing importance of mobile service for both developed and developing countries is self-evident, given the widespread use of mobile applications and their undeniable positive social and economic benefits. Preserving the status quo would mean denying the progress made in the telecommunication sector and turning down the potential that advancements in mobile communication technologies can offer for a more efficient use of the spectrum and, thus, for the benefit of the whole society. Obviously, SMAs will have to face broadcasters’ opposition. In fact, they would be deprived of some spectrum frequencies historically used for television broadcasting, while they are eager to broadcast more channels in digital form. Moreover, SMAs need to settle new agreements with neighbouring countries in order to provide mobile services, while ensuring that interference problems will not arise. This negotiating process will profoundly modify the existing digital broadcasting plan, in particular in Region 1. Moreover, in 2012, the ITU expanded the digital dividend including the 694- 790 MHz band, in ITU Region 1, which will host both television broadcasting and mobile service on a co-primary basis from 2016. Focusing on Region 1,   3    reallocating the 694-790 MHz band for mobile service will be significantly more disruptive to terrestrial broadcasters than it is in the 790-862 MHz band. In fact, terrestrial broadcasters would lose 30% of the total remaining UHF television spectrum. Such a reallocation cannot be seen as a release of frequencies thanks to technology improvements, but it is clearly a forced reduction of broadcasting capacity. In addition, significant planning and coordination among neighbouring countries will be needed in order to preserve equitable access to spectrum and control interference, as freeing up the 694- 790 MHz band from television broadcasting will severely interfere with the existing spectrum rights of each individual country. As matters stand, the challenge posed by the reallocation of the 694-790 MHz band should not be underestimated. A lot of interests are at stake. On one side mobile operators are starving for more spectrum, being the just released 790- 862 MHz band not enough for the deployment of their services. On the other side, television broadcasters will find themselves in a situation extremely difficult to handle, as many DTT systems have already been re-planned to free up the first digital dividend. Moreover, the 694-790 MHz band is seen as vital for the future development of digital broadcasting technologies, which would be prevented if more spectrum was released. Despite the availability of other platforms, such as the Internet, cable and satellite, DTT is the primary means of delivering television in many European countries and in most of them there is evidence of demand for additional DTT services. However, the role broadband services are playing for the economy worldwide cannot be ignored, as well as the exponential increase in the volume of data traffic, which is growing even faster than predicted and will keep growing over the next years. As time passes, the true scale of the mobile phenomenon is becoming ever clearer. While SMAs around the world are still working to re-farm the 790-862 MHz band for mobile service, countries in Region 1 and in particular EU Member States are setting the stage to face another challenge, harder than the previous one, regarding the 700 MHz band. In Europe, DTT is the dominant delivery platform for television with over than 275 million people watching television over DTT. Moreover, television broadcasting is widely considered as a crucial instrument in society for providing information and promoting shared values. Europe has been working hard to structure a harmonised regional plan on the digital dividend, promoting coordination in the management and use of the spectrum, to be followed by all EU Member States. However, European countries are so different from each other that the existing discrepancies have led to a varied set of experiences regarding the national approach to the digital dividend. SMAs, regional organisations, experts, broadcasting and mobile service operators and the whole ICT sector are looking forward to further international developments, which will occur in 2015. Decisions will be taken regarding the   4    future use of the radio spectrum, which will inevitably mark the future path of the services and technologies involved. 1.2. The aim The main purpose of the present thesis is to retrace the primary stages that have marked the evolution of the digital dividend issue. Nevertheless, the aim is to start early on, from a bit of history regarding the development of electromagnetic theory and the studies on radio waves, trying to gradually give the reader, which is not into this field, all the tools necessary to understand how events took place and why certain decisions were made, in particular in Europe. For this reason the thesis is organised as follows. Chapter 2 starts with a brief historical background regarding the development of electromagnetic theory. Then, the concepts of electromagnetic spectrum and radio spectrum are defined. With regard to radio spectrum, both technical and economic aspects are described. Chapter 3 investigates the spectrum management issue in its three geographical layers: international, regional and national. The concepts of spectrum allocation and assignment are defined and, focusing on the national level, the main spectrum assignment approaches are broadly described. Chapter 4 contains some data related to the recent developments in the ICT industry, in particular regarding the mobile service, whose widespread adoption calls for reforms in the spectrum assignment procedures. Thus, the main proposals seeking to define a renewed framework, distinguished in technology-driven and market-driven methods, are outlined. Chapter 5 introduces the concept of digital dividend, trying to explain its origins and its main characteristics. Then, the chapter focuses on the potential uses of the digital dividend, supporting the rationale of an allocation in favour of the mobile service. Chapter 6 starts illustrating the debate on the digital dividend issue. In particular, the chapter deals with the international main events which have led to the transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting, the allocation of the digital dividend to mobile services and further developments regarding the goal of extending the digital dividend in order to release additional spectrum to mobile service. Chapter 7 focuses on the European approach towards the digital dividend, meaning that only the international decisions regarding Region 1 and the European actions on the digital dividend are taken into account. The awareness of the immense scope of the issue addressed has led to the decision to concentrate mainly on one Region, Region 1, and, in more detail, on Europe. Choosing a Region would have been ensured a certain degree of consistency in the exposition, given that international actions are Regional- oriented, unless global decisions are taken. Moreover, the chapter lays stress on   5    Europe, for the same reason stated above, meaning for a need for uniformity in the exposition, but also because it is believed that the high degree of diversity among countries, the long tradition of terrestrial broadcasting service, the existing use of radio spectrum and other aspects that characterise Europe would have made the thesis more interesting. Chapter 8 calls attention to the national level. Specifically, two cases studies are shown with the aim to briefly describe the different approaches adopted in the United Kingdom (UK) and in Italy to face the digital dividend issue. A Conclusive Chapter 9 encourages further research, which may be conducted regarding the necessity to meet the growing demand for spectrum fuelled by mobile broadband in a context of spectrum scarcity. In particular, the Chapter hints at the decision of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), the United States (US) telecommunications regulatory agency, to adopt an innovative procedure termed “incentive auction”. It aims at encouraging existing broadcast television licensees to give up spectrum usage rights on a voluntary basis in exchange for a share of the proceeds from an auction of new licences to use the freed-up spectrum in the UHF band. The question is whether or not such a means can be implemented in Europe and how. Moreover, the Chapter refers to the on-going study on sharing spectrum in Europe and calls attention on the necessity to clearly understand why spectrum sharing is a feasible solution to the spectrum scarcity problem. 1.4. Methodology In order to develop the thesis, an extensive desk research is conducted, which refers to the collection and examination of secondary data. The Internet is the main research tool. As secondary data are not all of the same quality in terms of authenticity and credibility, the purpose is to mainly rely on official documents, which can be considered more reliable than non-official documents. In this respect, most of the data are sourced from official websites and on-line archives of: the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); the European Union (EU); the European Commission (EC); the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT); the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG); the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom); the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority (Agcom). ITU reports, articles, official documents related to the Regional Radiocommunication Conference held in 2006 (RRC-06), the World Radiocommunication Conferences held in 2007 (WRC-07) and 2012 (WRC- 12) and the upcoming WRC-15, have been investigated. As regards Europe, data are primarily sourced from: CEPT reports, released as result of the mandates placed by the EC; RSPG opinions; EC decisions, communications and recommendations; decisions of the European Parliament   6    (EP) and the Council of the European Union, which are judged as relevant for the purpose of the thesis. Consultations, regulatory statements and associated documents published by Ofcom are not only used for the development of Chapter 8, but their contributions add greatly to the structure of the entire thesis, being judged as well-developed and highly explanatory. Agcom resolutions, regulations and press releases, along with some specific Italian laws are used just for shaping Chapter 8. Given the peculiarity of Italian television market, the newsletter of Federazione Radio Televisioni (FRT), a federation representing Italian broadcasting operators, is largely used. Moreover, the PolicyTracker spectrum management newsletter, the Telecommunications Policy Journal and IEEEXplore digital library represent cardinal sources of data. 1.5. Delimitations The purpose of the thesis is to illustrate the main events which have determined the evolutionary path of the digital dividend issue, from an international, European and national point of view. The exposition does not go deep into facts, but aims at displaying prominently the principal decisions and related consequences so as to be easily understood. Neither solutions nor predictions for future courses of actions are provided, although some considerations may have been expressed. Policy actions are not evaluated in a positive or negative sense; the aim is to call attention to results and effects of these policy interventions. Moreover, the thesis fails to proper investigate facts from a broadcasting point of view, emphasizing the mobile perspective. Focusing on Europe, connections with African and Arab countries included in Region 1 are missing, as well as linkages to Region 2 and Region 3. A comparative analysis would be interesting as a better understanding of the reasons of certain decisions and of the origins of certain problems could be obtained. In Chapter 8 the comparison between the UK and Italy purposes to show how national peculiarities such as geography, culture, political aspects and the level of development of certain technologies, may strongly impact on the way countries approach the digital dividend issue, although both countries are under the EU umbrella. No specific methods of investigation are applied. In order to develop the thesis neither quantitative methodologies nor mathematical models are used, even though some remarks are supported by statistical data. The thesis limits itself to showing the results of a process of collection, organisation, analysis and synthesis of research material.   7    2. The invisible radio waves 2.1. Historical background During the nineteenth century the development of electromagnetic theory arrived at a turning point. Since the eighteenth century many scientists and amateurs have been more intensely fascinated by electricity, magnetism and their properties. As phenomena, related to electricity and magnetism, were considered independent, they have always been objects of distinct 2 investigations. However, in 1820, Andre-Marie Ampere (1775-1836) and Hans Cristian Oersted (1777-1851) demonstrated the connection between magnets and electric currents, meaning the possibility of transforming electricity into 3 magnetism. In 1831, Michael Faraday (1791-1867) discovered the electromagnetic induction phenomenon, showing that a magnetic field, which 4 is changing with time, can produce an electric current. In 1864 James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) mathematically predicted the existence of electromagnetic waves, providing a complete description of electromagnetic phenomena. His article “Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field”, published in 1865, is considered the basis of electromagnetic theory. Afterwards, many experimenters started deeply investigating Maxwell’s system of equations. A milestone in the history of electromagnetic theory is represented by Heinrich Rudolf Hertz’s series of experiments through which he effectively produced radio waves, proving the foundation of Maxwell’s theory, in 1887. The confirmation of Maxwell’s prediction helped the general acceptance of 5 Maxwell’s discovery by the scientific community. The pivotal contributions of Maxwell and Hertz (1857-1894), coupled with the development of electronics, 6 paved the way to wireless communications. Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) is the inventor more closely connected with the development of wireless communications. Given his pioneering experiments with a wireless telegraphy system, he is widely considered the                                                                                                                           2 A. J. Schwab, P. Fischer (1998). Maxwell, Hertz, and German Radio-Wave History, Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 86, No. 7, pp. 1312–1318. Available at: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=681365&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.or g%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D681365. 3 J.-M. Chaduc, G. Pogorel (2008). Op. cit., supra footnote 1. 4 G. S. Smith (1997). An Introduction to Classical Electromagnetic Radiation. Cambridge, UK; New York, USA; Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press, p. 1. 5 D. L. Sengupta, T. K. Sarkar (2003). Maxwell, Hertz, the Maxwellians, and the Early History of Electromagnetic Waves, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 13–19. Available at: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?tp=&arnumber=1203114&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore. ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D1203114. 6 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – IEEE, IEEE Global History Network (accessed April 2013), http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/IEEE_Communications_Society_History.   8    father of radio, at that time called wireless telegraphy. In 1901, he was able to successfully transmit and receive the first transatlantic signal, proving the 7 feasibility of long-distance radio communications. From now on, it was clear that, by modulating a given range of frequencies, it would have been possible to transmit information over distances between two 8 or more points that are not physically connected. Commercial, military and marine radio communications started to be developed. In 1915 the first wireless voice transmission was set up between New York and San Francisco and in 1920 the first commercial radio was established with WWJ station in Detroit and KDKA station in Pittsburgh. Television broadcasting, mobile telephony, satellite transmission are only few examples of innovations that came up over 9 time with the advent of wireless communications. Wireless services represent an invaluable achievement in the telecommunication field and a great step forward in social progress. They have radically changed how society is organised and connected, and revolutionised 10 the way people communicate. 2.2. Electromagnetic spectrum In wireless communication, information is transferred by electromagnetic waves. They can be defined as the self-propagating, mutual oscillation of 11 electric and magnetic fields. In fact, electromagnetic waves consist of both electric and magnetic fields and they propagate in space without artificial guide 12 at the speed of light. Scientists use the expression “electromagnetic spectrum” to indicate the entire range of electromagnetic radiation frequencies, usually 13 classified into classes, on the basis of their propagation properties. Electromagnetic radiation is described as a stream of massless particles, called                                                                                                                           7 Lemelson-Mit Website, Inventor of the week, Guglielmo Marconi, (accessed April 2013), http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/marconi.html. 8 D. Hatfield, P. Weiser (2006). Toward Property Rights in Spectrum. The difficult Policy Choices Ahead, Cato Institute Policy Analysis Series No. 575. Available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=975679 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.975679. 9 S. K. Majumdar, I. Vogelsang, M. E. Cave (2005). Handbook of Telecommunications Economics, Vol. 1, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier B.V.. 10 G. Falciasecca, B. Valotti (2009). Guglielmo Marconi: the pioneer of Wireless Communications. Proceedings of the 39th European Microwave Conference, pp. 544–546. Available at: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5296358. 11 Columbia University, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (2007), Electromagnetic Waves, (accessed April 2013), http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/climate/lectures/radiation/em_energy.html. 12 International Telecommunication Union – ITU (2012). Radio Regulations, Vol. 1, Art. 1, Geneva, Switzerland. Available at: http://www.itu.int/pub/R-REG-RR-2012; A. P. Godse, U.A. Bakshi (2009). Basic Electronics Engineering. Pune, India: Technical Publications Pune. 13 National Imagery and Mapping Agency. Chapter 10: Radio Waves (accessed April 2013), http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/StaticFiles/NAV_PUBS/APN/Chapt-10.pdf.   9    photons, each travelling through space in a wave-like pattern at the speed of light. Each photon contains a certain amount of energy. Types of radiation differ from each other in terms of energy, wavelength and frequency. As it is shown in Figure 1, radiation can be ordered from the highest energy/highest frequency/shortest wavelength (gamma rays) to the lowest 14 energy/lowest frequency/longest wavelength (radio waves). Figure 1. The electromagnetic spectrum Source: Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center, Nasa’s Imagine the Universe, Electromagnetic Spectrum (accessed April 2013), http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html. The energy carried by a wave is related to the amplitude of a wave that is the 15 maximum displacement of a peak from its undisturbed position. In particular the greater the amplitude the greater is the quantity of energy transported. The wavelength is defined as the distance travelled by an electromagnetic wave during the time of one cycle and it is measured in meters. One cycle is a complete sequence of values, as from crest to crest. The frequency is the number of patterns or cycles that occur in unit time, usually one second, and it is expressed in hertz (cycles per second). Figure 2. The electromagnetic wave Source: JSAT International, Why satellite, Frequency (accessed April 2013), http://www.jsati.com/why- satellite-what-Frequency.asp                                                                                                                           14 Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center, Nasa’s Imagine the Universe, Electromagnetic Spectrum (accessed April 2013), http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html. 15 British Broadcasting Corporation – BBC, An introduction to waves (accessed April 2013), http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/aqa_pre_2011/radiation/anintroductiontowavesrev2.sh tml.   10    There exists a specific mathematical relation between frequency and wavelength. They are inversely proportional: the higher the frequency the shorter the wavelength. Instead frequency and energy are directly 16 proportional. With respect to wireless communication, key characteristics of electromagnetic waves are the propagation features and the information-carrying capacity. In general, waves with higher frequencies reach shorter distances but can carry greater amount of information, instead waves with lower frequencies travel longer distances but have little capacity to carry information. The physical characteristics of electromagnetic waves help in identifying the spectrum bands 17 suitable for different applications. For instance, broadband services demand for lower parts of the spectrum that have greater propagation features. These particular waves have the capability to pass through obstacles, such as buildings, and this is very important for some kind of services such as radio 18 and mobile broadcasting. 2.3. Radio spectrum Radio spectrum is the portion of electromagnetic spectrum characterised by radiation with the lowest frequency and the longest wavelength. Conventionally, radio waves have frequency that varies between 3 kHz and 19 3000 GHz. Radio spectrum is an indispensable public resource for a wide range of economic, social and scientific purposes. It is used for mobile, fixed and satellite wireless communication, transport, radiolocation, many applications such as alarms, microphones and medical equipment, radio and television broadcasting which, in particular, has become one of the main sources of 20 information for most people in the world. Specific frequencies are allocated to deliver public services such as defence, public safety, disaster warning, air-                                                                                                                           16 Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center, Nasa’s Imagine the Universe, Electromagnetic Spectrum (accessed April 2013), http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html. 17 McLean Foster & Co. in collaboration M. Cave and R. W. Jones (2007). Radio Spectrum Management, Module 5, ICT Regulation Toolkit, Executive Summary. Available at: http://www.ictregulationtoolkit.org/Documents/Document/Document/3729. 18 European Commission - EC (2010). Accompanying document to the Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the first radio spectrum policy programme, COM(2010) 471. Available at: http://eur- lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0471:FIN:EN:PDF. 19 International Telecommunication Union – ITU (2012). Op. cit., supra footnote 12. 20 European Parliament – EP, Council of the European Union – the Council (2012). Decision No. 243/2012/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 establishing a multiannual radio spectrum policy programme, Official Journal of the European Union. Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:081:0007:0017:EN:PDF.   11    traffic control, maritime navigation, weather forecasts; and scientific activities, 21 for instance radio astronomy and space research, among others. This natural resource presents some unique properties. It is not homogeneous, as different portions have different characteristics. It cannot be created or 22 destroyed. It is non-exhaustible: it will never run out because of its exploitation; but it is non-storable, meaning it cannot be accumulated for later use. It is considered a scarce resource, namely, at a given time and location, it has limited availability. In fact it is subject to congestion, as signals transmitted on the same or adjoining frequencies at the same time and in the same location 23 may interfere with each other. Interference represents a significant problem 24 that reduces or nullifies the usability of spectrum. From a pure technical point of view, radio spectrum can be considered a public resource with indefinite capacity, which anybody can use. However, radio waves cannot be used for providing services if different radio systems arbitrarily use the same spectrum band, causing unwanted and harmful signal interference. This is the reason why since the very beginning of wireless services deployment, spectrum management arises to prevent harmful interferences, allowing the universal shared use of radio spectrum. The necessity of coordination and regulation was immediately recognised, at the national and international level, for the effective use of radio 25 communication. Many services work worldwide, so a certain level of uniformity in the allocation of spectrum to services between countries is required. Moreover, radio emissions used for systems within a country are not confined by national borders, as in their propagation, waves do not recognise boundaries, so they can cross frontiers and cause unwelcome interference. Coordination is also necessary within the country in order to ensure the equitable access to spectrum by different services without creating constraints, 26 which would impede the effective provision of services by each operator.                                                                                                                           21 M. Cave (2002). Review of Radio Spectrum Management. An independent review for Department of Trade and Industry and HM Treasury. Available at: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/ra/spectrum- review/2002review/1_whole_job.pdf. 22 G. L. Rosston, J. S. Steinberg (1997). Using Market-Based Spectrum Policy to Promote the Public Interest, Federal Communications Law Journal: Vol. 50, Iss. 1, Art. 4. Available at: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/fclj/vol50/iss1/4G. 23 McLean Foster & Co. in collaboration M. Cave, R. W. Jones (2007). Op. cit., supra footnote 17. 24 European Commission - EC (2010). Op. cit., supra footnote 18. 25 J.-M. Chaduc, G. Pogorel (2008). Op. cit., supra footnote 1. 26 D. J. Withers (2009). Radio Spectrum management: Management of the Spectrum and Regulation of Radio Services, 2nd ed. London, UK: The Institution of Electrical Engineers.   12    3. Spectrum management 3.1. Spectrum management structure Spectrum management framework has a three-tier geographical structure: international, regional and national. The ITU undertakes the task of internationally coordinating the use of the radio spectrum, managing 27 interference and setting global standards. It provides the basic framework for spectrum allocation, distributing spectrum portions to several categories of radiocommunication services. Between the international and national level, regional organisations have emerged, which play a significant role in defining spectrum management 28 policy. Current trends show a greater centralisation of spectrum decisions 29 moving from national to regional level, in particular in Europe. Regional bodies aim at reaching a significant level of harmonisation in national allocation processes within the area of competence, and also of coordination in the assignment procedures, if it is believed necessary. Doing so, a more 30 efficient use of the spectrum can be achieved. Other specialised international organisations exist in certain sectors such as civil aviation, research and radio 31 astronomy. However, radio spectrum management still chiefly remains a national responsibility. Within the allocation framework defined internationally, SMAs are in charge of the allocation process of spectrum to certain uses, defining a national table of frequency allocations, and of the assignment process of frequencies to users. As several services are allocated in each frequency band at the international level, SMAs can decide, with a high degree of flexibility, 32 which kind of service to deploy, taking into account national needs. As regards the assignment process, radio frequencies or radio frequency channels within each allocated band are assigned to specific individual users by means 33 of national authorisation.                                                                                                                           27 S. K. Majumdar, I. Vogelsang, M. E. Cave (2005). Op. cit., supra footnote 9. 28 E. Lie (2004). Radio Spectrum Management for a Converging World, Background Paper prepared for the ITU Workshop on Radio Spectrum Management for a Converging World, Geneva, Switzerland, ITU New Initiative programme, 16-18 February 2004. Available at: http://www.itu.int/osg/spu/ni/spectrum/RSM-BG.pdf. 29 K. Pearson, P. Marks (2012). European Policies supporting Wireless Broadband, Telecommunications Journal of Australia, Vol. 62, No. 1. Available at: http://tja.org.au/index.php/tja/article/view/287. 30 D. J. Withers (2009). Op. cit., supra footnote 26. 31 International Telecommunication Union – ITU (2007). Report ITU-R SM. 2093 Guidance on the regulatory framework for national spectrum management, Geneva, Switzerland. Available at: http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-r/opb/rep/R-REP-SM.2093-2007-PDF-E.pdf. 32 International Telecommunication Union - ITU (2012). Digital Dividend: Insights for Spectrum Decisions, Geneva, Switzerland. Available at: http://www.itu.int/ITU- D/tech/digital_broadcasting/Reports/DigitalDividend.pdf. 33 D. Hatfield, P. Weiser (2006). Op. cit., supra footnote 8.   13    This three-tier structure is set out with the primal aim to provide the necessary international harmonisation of allocations and, at the same time, to reserve a certain degree of flexibility to SMAs that are responsible for the final spectrum 34 allocation to specific uses and assignation to individual users. 3.1.1. International level At the international level, the use of the radio-frequency spectrum is managed and coordinated by the ITU. Founded on 17 May 1865, ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs) that follows the aim to bring the benefits of modern communication technologies worldwide. At present, ITU membership includes 193 Member States, ICT regulators, leading institutions and over 700 private companies. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has four regional offices and 35 eight area offices around the world. ITU fulfils its objectives through its three Sectors: the Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), the Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D). In particular, the ITU-R is responsible for the allocation of frequency bands to generic types of uses. Core responsibility of ITU-R is to ensure the rational, equitable, efficient and economical use of the radio-frequency spectrum by all radiocommunication services, including those using geostationary-satellite and satellite orbits, to facilitate coordination and agreement among countries about frequency allocation, to carry out studies and to approve recommendations on 36 radiocommunication matters. In pursuing this mission, ITU-R promulgates Radio Regulations (RR), which forms the international treaty governing the use of the radio frequency spectrum and satellite orbits, with binding effect on all ITU Members. Essentially, RR constitutes the heart of the international framework for frequency allocations that specifies how frequency bands must be allocated to radiocommunication services, and the procedures that SMAs must follow for implementing radio stations in order to avoid harmful 37 interference. The RR is usually reviewed and, if necessary, revised every three to four years through ITU’s World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRCs) to keep pace 38 with new technological, economic and political developments. Official                                                                                                                           34 W. H. Melody, W. Lemstra (2011). Liberalization in radio spectrum management in M. Finger, R. W. Kunneke, International handbook of Network Industries. The liberalization of Infrastructure, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, pp. 123-143. 35 International Telecommunication Union – ITU, ITU Overview (accessed April 2013), http://www.itu.int/en/about/Pages/overview.aspx. 36 International Telecommunication Union – ITU, ITU Constitution, Geneva, Switzerland. Available at: http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-s/oth/02/09/s02090000115201pdfe.pdf. 37 International Telecommunication Union – ITU (2007). Op. cit., supra footnote 31. 38 International Telecommunication Union – ITU, Radiocommunication Sector – ITU-R (accessed April 2013), http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/index.asp?category=information&rlink=itur-welcome&lang=en.   14    governmental delegations of ITU Member States participate to the Conferences and other entities such as the United Nations, international organisations, regional telecommunication organisations may be admitted. Decisions are taken by consensus, which means that all ITU Member States should agree on what has been decided. This ensures that they will continue to comply with the 39 RR. Furthermore, the ITU may hold Regional Radiocommunication Conferences (RRCs) that can involve either an ITU Region or a smaller group of countries with the aim to solve spectrum use problems within a specific geographic area. RRCs cannot modify the RR and the decisions taken are only 40 binding on those countries that have signed the agreement. ITU-R also adopts recommendations with the aim to standardise radiocommunication equipment 41 in order to favour harmonisation conditions across ITU members. SMAs 42 usually implement them, even though they do not have legal status. As shown in Figure 3, along with International and Regional Radiocommunication Conferences, the structure of the ITU-R encompasses several entities. Figure 3. ITU-R organisation Source: ITU, Sector Organization (accessed April 2013), http://www.itu.int/ITU- R/index.asp?category=information&rlink=sector-organization&lang=en.                                                                                                                           39 F. Rancy, E. Zilles, J. J. Guitot (2011). Transition to digital TV and digital dividend, Telecommunication in Modern Satellite Cable and Broadcasting Services (TELSIKS), 10th International Conference on, Vol. 1, pp. 13–20, 5–8 October 2011. Available at: http://ieeeexplore.us/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6112027&queryText%3DTransition+to+Digit al+TV+and+Digital+Dividend. 40 European Telecommunications Standards Institute – ETSI website, Radio Spectrum (accessed April 2013), http://www.etsi.org/technologies-clusters/technologies/radio/radio-spectrum; L. Berlemann, B. H. Walke (2006). Radio Spectrum Regulation in B. H. Walke, S. Mangold, L. Berlemann, IEEE 802 Wireless Systems: Protocols, Multi-hop Mesh/Relaying, Performance and Spectrum Coexistence, Chichesrer, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 41 International Telecommunication Union - ITU (2012). Op. cit., supra footnote 32. 42 M. Cave (2002). Op. cit., supra footnote 21.   15    Radiocommunication Assemblies (RAs) are responsible for structure, programme and approval of radiocommunication studies. They are normally convened every three to four years and may be associated in time and place with WRCs. Among other duties, RAs assign conference preparatory work and other questions to study groups, which develop the technical bases for decisions taken at WRCs and recommendations, reports and handbooks on radiocommunication matters. More than 4000 specialists representing ITU Member States and Sector and Associate Members throughout the world, 43 participate in the work of the study groups. In addition, a Special Committee (SC) undertakes required studies on matters relating to regulatory/procedural 44 issues as part of preparations for WRCs. The Radiocommunication Bureau (RB) is the executive arm of the ITU-R and it is composed of a director and a team of highly skilled specialists. It is responsible for the coordination of the ITU-R activities, which are assigned to four different departments: Space Services Department (SSD), Terrestrial Services Department (TSD), Study Groups Department (SGD) and Informatics, 45 Administration and Publications Department (IAP). The director of the Bureau is the Executive Secretary of the Radio Regulations Board (RRB). This is composed of 12 elected members, which perform their duties independently and on a part-time basis, normally meeting up to four times a year, in Geneva. Among other things, RRB approves the “Rules of Procedure” used by the RB in applying the provisions of the RR and in 46 registering frequency assignments made by Member States. In fact, the ITU requires its member countries to conform to arranged procedures of notification 47 and registration of assigned frequencies to particular uses. The Radiocommunication Advisory Group (RAG) reviews priorities and strategies adopted by the ITU-R, and provides guidance for the work of the study groups and recommends measures to foster cooperation and coordination 48 both with other organisations and other ITU Sectors.                                                                                                                           43 International Telecommunication Union – ITU, Radiocommunication Assemblies (accessed April 2013), http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/index.asp?category=conferences&rlink=ra&lang=en; International Telecommunication Union – ITU, Radiocommunication Study Groups (accessed April 2013), http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/study-groups/Pages/default.aspx. 44 International Telecommunication Union – ITU (2012). Resolution ITU-R 38-4 Study of regulatory/procedural matters, Geneva, Switzerland. Available at: http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu- r/opb/res/R-RES-R.38-4-2012-PDF-E.pdf. 45 International Telecommunication Union – ITU, Radiocommunication Bureau (accessed April 2013), http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/index.asp?category=information&rlink=br&lang=en. 46 International Telecommunication Union – ITU, Radio Regulations Board (accessed April 2013), http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/conferences/RRB/Pages/default.aspx. 47 S. K. Majumdar, I. Vogelsang, M. E. Cave (2005). Op. cit., supra footnote 9. 48 International Telecommunication Union – ITU, Radiocommunication Advisory Group (accessed April 2013), http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/conferences/rag/Pages/default.aspx.   16    3.1.1.1. Spectrum allocation process In the matter of spectrum allocation process, the ITU bases its task on three parameters: frequency, geographic location and priority of the user with 49 regards to interference. With respect to frequency, ITU has conventionally divided the radio spectrum into nine frequency bands, as shown in Table 1. The range of frequencies 50 occupied goes from 3 kHz to 3000 GHz. The unit for frequency is the hertz (Hz); as a matter of practicality, it shall be expressed with hertz related 3 6 multiples, such as kilohertz (1 kHz = 10 Hz); megahertz (1 MHz = 10 Hz); 9 gigahertz (1Ghz = 10 Hz). Bands are designated by progressive whole 51 numbers and are allocated to specific uses. Table 1. Nine frequency bands of radio spectrum Source: ITU (2012). Radio Regulations 2012, Vol. 1 Art. 5. Available at: http://www.itu.int/pub/R-REG- RR-2012. With respect to geographical dimension, the world is divided into three Regions: Europe, Africa, the Middle East and northern part of Asia are included in Region 1, the Americas and some of the eastern pacific islands constitute Region 2, the southern part of Asia and Oceania are comprised in Region 3.                                                                                                                           49 S. K. Majumdar, I. Vogelsang, M. E. Cave (2005). Op. cit., supra footnote 9. 50 Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center, Nasa’s Imagine the Universe, Electromagnetic Spectrum (accessed April 2013), http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html. 51 International Telecommunication Union – ITU (2012). Op. cit., supra footnote 12.   17     Figure 4. ITU Regions Source: ITU (2012). Radio Regulations 2012, Vol. 1 Art. 5. Available at: http://www.itu.int/pub/R-REG- RR-2012. Each Region defines its own set of frequency allocations, consistently with the boundaries imposed by the ITU in the international Table of Frequency Allocations (TFA), which authorises one or more radio services in each band. Table 2 shows a portion of a TFA, which can help to understand how a TFA is structured. Table 2. Table of Frequency Allocations: 8.3 – 110 kHz (portion) REGIONS FREQUENCY BAND PRIMARY SERVICE GLOBAL ALLOCATION no regional differences FOOTNOTE adjacent to service name applicable only to that particular service FOOTNOTE to be applied to more than one of the allocated services or to the whole of the allocation concerned SECONDARY SERVICE REGIONAL ALLOCATION different allocation for each Region Source: ITU (2012). Radio Regulations 2012, Vol. 1 Art. 5. Available at: http://www.itu.int/pub/R-REG- RR-2012.   18    

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