SRD/MG meeting - Vilnius

The 67th meeting of the Short Range Devices/Maintenance Group (SRD/MG) working group was held on 20-22 April in Vilnius, Lithuania, chaired by Thomas Weber and attended by 51 participants from various administrations and bodies, including the European Commission (EC), the European Communications Office (ECO) and industry.

SRD/MG covers matters involving short range devices and among other issues is responsible for updating Recommendation ERC/REC 70-03, for the response to the EC permanent mandate on short range devices with a view to updating the Commission Decision on SRD (Decision 2006/771/EC of 9 November 2006, amended by Decisions 2008/432/EC of 23 May 2008, 2009/381/EC of 3 May 2009, 2010/368/EU of 30 June 2010, 2011/829/EU of 8 December 2011 and 2013/752/EU of 11 December 2013), for issues associated to ultra wide band technology and for identifying new spectrum opportunities to introduce SRD.

At the 84th meeting of the Frequency Management working group (WG FM) in February 2016, revisions were approved for public consultation of annexes 5, 6, 10 and 13, 11 and appendix 5 of Recommendation 70-03, specifically:

  • revision of annex 5 (transport and traffic telematics) with a new entry for obstacle detecting radar in helicopters in the 76-77 GHz band in the wake of the new ECC Decision (16)01 on “the harmonised frequency band 76-77 GHz, technical characteristics, exemption from individual licensing and free carriage and use of obstacle detection radars for rotorcraft use”;
  • update of content of annex 6 (radiodetermination applications) to make clear the kind of uses allowed in order to prevent improper use of the frequencies designated in this annex, namely by point-point and point-multipoint applications;
  • merger of annex 13 (wireless audio applications) into annex 10 (radio microphone applications including assistive listening devices), resulting in a new annex 10. Annex 13 is maintained but now only contains a note indicating that it is found in Annex 10 of Recommendation 70-03;
  • amendment of annex 11 (radio frequency identification applications) to correct the regulatory solution in the 865-868 MHz band that is henceforth based on a 4-channel plan. The existing regulatory solution will remain in the scope of “rights already acquired for devices placed on the market before the date Decision 2006/804/EC was revoked”;
  • amendment of appendix 5 (duty cycle categories), namely the definition for DC (duty cycle), to make it stronger and less ambiguous.

Overall, all the revision proposals for the annexes to Recommendation 70-03 were well accepted. Note that in the wake of the comments received, the proposal to include reference to exclusion zones in annex 5 of Recommendation 70-03, in accordance with ECC Decision (16)01, was accepted.

This meeting also saw approval of revisions to annexes 1 and 10 of Recommendation 70-03, which will be submitted to the 85th WG FM meeting (May 2016) for approval and adoption for public consultation, specifically:

  • following the production of CEPT Report 52, Report from CEPT to the European Commission in response to the Mandate – To undertake studies on the harmonised technical conditions for the 1900-1920 MHz and 2010-2025 MHz frequency bands (Unpaired terrestrial 2 GHz bands) in the EU, one of the proposals concerns inclusion of SRD/digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT) system in the 1900-1920 MHz band subject to the general authorisation regime. CEPT Report 52 does not propose exclusive use of the band by SRD/DECT, while the proposal in CEPT Report 59, ahead of the sixth update of the Commission Decision on SRD, envisages that CEPT continue looking into use of the 1900-1920 MHz band for SRD/DECT applications. Nevertheless, and with a view to enabling a first harmonisation at European level, a new entry was introduced in annex 1 of Recommendation 70-03 (non-specific) to accommodate SRD and DECT applications;
  • Following approval and publication of ECC Report 245, Compatibility studies between PMSE and other systems/services in the 1350-1400 MHz band, the 1350-1400 MHz frequency band was included in annex 10 of Recommendation 70-03, for microphone emitters. One of the proposed mitigation techniques is the Spectrum Scanning Procedure, which was also included in other frequency bands of annex 10, to give new spectrum sharing opportunities to industry and which results from the requisites identified in ECC Report 245.

Regarding the permanent EC mandate on SRD, draft CEPT Report 59, in response to the EC Permanent Mandate on the annual update of the technical annex of the Commission Decision on the technical harmonisation of radio spectrum for use by short range devices, it was approved for public consultation at the 41st ECC meeting (March 2016), until 15 April 2016. Comments were received from 28 entities, while only one administration submitted comments. In this regard, it must be emphasised that the three Portuguese entities (ENLIGHT, NetPlan and ISA Energy) submitted comments, basically to support opening the 870-876 MHz/915-921 MHz band, or parts of that band, for SRD.

Note that at its last meeting the ECC decided that possible harmonisation of the 870-876 MHz/915-921 MHz band, even though partial, should be studied (this frequency band was not proposed as a candidate for the sixth update of the Commission Decision on SRD). To that end, CEPT will produce an addendum to draft CEPT Report 59 during this year 2016.

The comments received were all resolved, whereby draft CEPT Report 59 will be submitted to the 85th meeting of WG FM (May 2016) to be approved and forwarded to the ECC meeting (June 2016) for final approval and respective publication.

At its last meeting, SRD/MG prepared a proposed revision of Decision ECC (04)03, the frequency band 77-81 GHz to be designated for the use of Automotive Short Range Radars, following on results of the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference, which designated the 77.5-78 GHz frequency band with a new primary allocation, designating the entire 77-81 GHz band for use by short range radars installed in automotive vehicles. This revision proposal was submitted to WG FM and the ECC, so that the groups could accordingly decide how to proceed, given that there is an EC Decision on this matter that must also be revised. At the last ECC meeting the group considered that the need to review this Decision ought to be better grounded; that work has now been finished by SRD/MG and the proposed revision of the Decision again submitted to WG FM and the ECC with a view to adopting it for public consultation.

Regarding the periodic review of ECC Decisions, ECC Decision (11)03 on the harmonised use of frequencies for citizens’ band (CB) radio equipment was revised (only editorial revisions) and will be submitted to the 85th WG FM meeting (May 2016) for approval and adoption for public consultation. Also approved was an RIS form referring to ECC Decision (16)01.