I am attending the DSA Summit. I work on regulatory affairs for Microsoft and I am sharing below my notes from the interventions of the regulators who have spoken here in London. I would note, though, that (as is clear from the agenda) there have been many interesting presentations also from non-regulators providing examples of innovative technological solutions and perspectives about how to evolve spectrum management.
I unfortunately cannot attend the final afternoon of the Summit where there are a couple of sessions of particular relevance to DC3 - panelists from regional and global economic development institutions looking at access to finance in emerging markets, and a session on Challenges to Universal and Affordable Connectivity. Hopefully there will be someone else here who’s able to share notes of those sessions.
Regulatory Policy Analyst
Telecom and Internet Governance
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Mario gave a development-focused presentation, referring to the Sustainable Development Goals, how spectrum plays a role in meeting many of them, and linking that to ITU’s mission to connect the world.
General challenges to ensure suitable broadband access include - outdoor and indoor coverage; availability of high-capacity networks; high demand and competition for spectrum, affordability of devices and subscriptions. Solutions are about deploying overlapping networks – large, long-term investment (e.g. IMT networks); small, short-term investments (e.g. Wi-Fi networks); overlapping macro, micro, pico and femto cells; networks with QoS as well as best effort networks.
Challenges to ensure bb access in unconnected areas – lack of electricity; affordability; literacy and digital literacy; lack of awareness and of local content; lack of investment and of backhaul. In other words, spectrum is not the bottleneck for the lack of broadband. Solutions for unconnected areas can be technological (satellite, HAPS, fixed backhaul, and mobile services in digital dividend bands) ort spectrum management (spectrum below 1 GHz, e.g. 700 MHz; considering regional and local auctions instead of national given that national licensees don’t always deploy nationally); spectrum coverage obligations for rural and remote areas; penalties for inefficient spectrum usage; licensed share access.
And there can be public policy solutions – alternative power sources (green energy); reduce taxation; promote competition; promote infrastructure/network sharing through license obligations to share; public investment where necessary; promote local content and applications (e.g. m-money).
TVWS has great potential for connectivity in areas of low population density. Currently undertaking a trial and expect to move forward with regulation. There is also a separate project on shared spectrum – identify and make available spectrum as a shared use for development of investment and innovation. The idea is to “whiten currently clandestine services” and to “incorporate ICT service provider concept for 2.4 and 5.8 GHz”, allowing small players to innovate and enter the market. I understood this as officially recognizing legitimacy of use of unlicensed spectrum, while providing some clear expectations for the use of this spectrum.
Is Technology the Best Manager of Spectrum (topic of his panel)? Yes, but there are a couple of inhibitors:
- How much stakeholders are prepared to invest in equipment to ensure that (expensive) new mitigation techniques are included in equipment (for which the ecosystem often prioritises minimizing cost).
- How much are regulators prepared to change? There are some positive examples in Europe – UK with efforts to transition PMSE users and its TVWS; Italy LSA trial with European Commission which demonstrated feasibility, though ultimately
failed to interest the operators. But majority of spectrum regulators in Europe show little appetite for changing licensing approaches and introducing new mitigation techniques. Commission keen to promote more sharing but every time it had any relationship
to licensed spectrum, regulators resisted, saying it was a national issue.
RSPG’s 5G advice identifies low, mid and high band spectrum:
In addition, the RSPG advice allows for European countries to cater their approaches to their individual needs, e.g. whether to have coverage requirements or geographically-variable licenses.
H Nwana: you’re part of Region 1; how sensitive are Europeans to African needs in your decisions? – Africa often feels railroaded into certain approaches by European decisions. Jonas said large-scale clearances shouldn’t be part of the approach, giving the example of C-Band satellites in Region 1 which are important to countries around the equator but not to countries nearer the poles, like South Africa or Sweden.
H Nwana asked what RSPG thought about IMT “gobbling up spectrum”. Jonas observed that the Radio Regs are technology-neutral and the identification of IMT in Radio Regs is a footnote rather than part of the Radio Regs, so RR don’t require We need to enable many different services and see what takes off.
Demand for spectrum will continue to increase, we’ll need to work spectrum harder and spectrum will be an important part of that. Spectrum sharing will become increasingly important but there won’t be a single sharing approach and need to look at things on a case-by-case basis. As a regulator, we need tools (policies, powers, toolkit) that enable us to allow sharing. See three elements to increasing sharing:
- Technology will play key role in how we promote sharing
- Clear regulatory framework to facilitate spectrum sharing and enables us to create rules on a case-by-case basis. But it’s important not to over-complicate if that can be avoided. Efforts in TVWS, CBRS and efforts to protect satellite in 5.4-5.7 have been complex but also need to look at opportunities to enable sharing in a simpler way.
- Move away from a protectionist approach (all about protecting the incumbent) to an approach of how we make it work. So there needs to be focus on solutions to encourage and enable sharing.
TVWS hasn’t taken off as quickly an anticipated – more to do with availability of chipsets than availability of spectrum. But one benefit has been ability to experience databases – and it has been complex (accommodating both broadcasting and wireless mic users), but it works! Sharing managed spectrum using databases is therefore one of our spectrum authorisation approaches. And dynamic shred access tools could be applied in other bands, where appropriate. But use right tool for the right space.
It is not about finding places in spectrum to insert DSA – it’s not right everywhere. Rather, it’s about recognizing DSA is a tool to consider when access to spectrum cannot be accomplished more efficiently or effectively in other ways.
From: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
On Behalf Of Sylvia Cadena
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2018 7:04 AM
To: Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: [DC3] Fwd: [Members] DSA 2018 Global Summit - Update
It will be great if those attending this event can share some info about what happened there…
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<email@example.com> on behalf of Glenn McKnight <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity <email@example.com>
Date: Saturday, 21 April 2018 at 8:54 am
To: Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [DC3] Fwd: [Members] DSA 2018 Global Summit - Update
Glenn McKnight, B.A, M.A
Internet Society Board of Trustee
Chair: Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities(FBSC)
IEEE HIC Committee Member
IEEE PES CSI Committee Member
ICANN NARALO Chair (Fall 2017)
ICANN NARALO Secretariat ( Starting Fall 2017)
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: DSA Administration <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 4:21 PM
Subject: [Members] DSA 2018 Global Summit - Update
To: "Allmembers at dynamicspectrumalliance.org" <Allmembers@dynamicspectrumalliance.org>
Cc: DSA Administration <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Kalpak Gude <email@example.com>
Dear DSA Members,
On behalf of Kalpak, I would like to share with you that this year the DSA is excited to welcome 29 regulators from 22 different regulatory bodies in attendance at our Sixth Annual Global Summit event and Regulator Workshop (see attached list for specific names). This is an exciting feat for the Alliance, as it is not only the largest number of individual regulators we have ever had attend the Summit before, but it is also the largest number of regulatory organizations to participate.
As such, we would encourage all of you to help us continue to get the word out about the Global Summit. There is no other conference discussing modern and innovative spectrum management methodologies, including dynamically shared and license exempt operations, like the DSA’s Summit. Please feel free to share and repost the Alliance’s LinkedIn feeds with your associates and feel free to use the attached PDF invite when encouraging any clients, customers, or colleagues to attend.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.