ECC makes progress on 5G spectrum
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

The Electronics Communications Committee (ECC), which develops electronic communications policies at the European level, has said that it has "made much progress" on 5G spectrum during its 47th Plenary meeting.

The meeting took place in Lisbon from 27 February to 2 March 2018, also saw ECC make decisions on a number of other spectrum issues covering IoT/M2M applications, spectrum for drones, and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).

Regarding 5G, the ECC has approved a set of draft deliverables for public consultation, and these provide the harmonised technical conditions for Mobile/Fixed Communications Networks (MFCN) in the 3.4-3.8 GHz and 24.25-27.5 GHz bands, as 5G pioneer bands.

It adds that while the meeting’s attendees reached agreement on most of the elements under consideration, the ECC is seeking views from the CEPT administrations and interested stakeholders on a few specific items during the public consultation, which ends 6 April 2018. This will support the ECC in completing the regulatory framework for 5G in these two bands at its next meeting in July 2018.

The ECC has also approved the draft CEPT reports for public consultation, which were produced in response to the EC Mandate on 5G in the 3.5 and 26 GHz bands, along with a draft report that focuses on the role that satellites can play within the future 5G ecosystem.

The committee also discussed the growing interest around the use of 5G in the MCFN bands below 3GHz and has agreed to review the technical conditions in the existing ECC Decisions for the 2.1 GHz, 2.6 GHz and the 900/1800 MHz bands. It concluded that the 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 1.5 GHz bands are suitable for 5G since the technical conditions in the corresponding ECC Decisions are technology neutral and there is no plan to implement Active Antenna Systems in these bands.

Turning to IoT and M2M applications, the ECC has, to enable these to be accommodated in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands, approved the revision of the regulatory framework for these bands. The changes add technical conditions for IoT cellular system to the existing conditions for cellular system in the 900 and 1800 MHz bands.

During the meeting, the ECC also discussed the use of MCFN bands for drones and UAVs and the attendees agreed to develop a ECC report to evaluate this use. The committee also endorsed the programme for the workshop on drones that will be held on 29-30 May 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Finally, ECC, approved a CEPT Interim Report to the European Commission, which was produced in response to the EC mandate to CEPT to study the extension of the ITS safety-related band at 5.9 GHZ. The report provides an overview of the ongoing considerations and studies and the ECC states that this work is progressing according to schedule.

A more detailed summary of the meeting's deliverables can be found here.

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