Digital Regulation Platform
Use of shared spectrum at the national level

Use of shared spectrum at the national level

Types of spectrum sharing licensing regimes Shared access regimes are one way for regulators to open spectrum to more users and to facilitate the use of spectrum bands, especially when an exclusive use is not possible in the short term. Spectrum sharing can either be part of a licensed or unlicensed regime. Under licensed shared access (LSA), use is authorized by a licence for a set of different types of services or between users, under conditions defined in the licence to avoid harmful interference. Under an unlicensed or licence-exempt regime, no licence is required, and the number of users is…

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Spectrum pricing and trading

Spectrum pricing and trading

Introduction In an increasingly digital environment, adequate access to spectrum is key to expanding the deployment and coverage of telecommunications networks, and addressing the ever-increasing demand for data services. These networks support a variety of online applications, extending the impact of spectrum management to several sectors of the economy by transforming the way people access resources for health, transportation, education, agriculture, government, and financial services. As a scarce resource, spectrum requires proper management from regulators, to ensure equitable access and an interference-free environment among different users and services, as well as to introduce new technologies. A key aspect is the…

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Overview of national spectrum licensing

Overview of national spectrum licensing

Source: ESA 2013. As a limited natural recourse, national administrations manage and assign the use of spectrum. In order to support the wide variety of different telecommunication services, as well as to mitigate possible harmful interference, regulators issue national tables of frequency allocations and establish licensing frameworks that govern how spectrum will be awarded in the country. Regulators also intervene to mitigate disputes in cases of harmful interference along national borders. This process includes working with neighbouring countries on cross-border frequency coordination, recording frequency assignments in the Master International Frequency Register (MIFR) in accordance with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)…

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Technical standards for upcoming technologies

Technical standards for upcoming technologies

Introduction The widespread adoption of wireless technologies at a global scale depends on robust consensus over technical standards for spectrum management. Technical standards are agreed upon through discussions at different international and regional organizations, as well as standards development organizations (SDOs). For example, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) addresses radio aspects in the Radiocommunication Sector and core aspects of the different technologies in the Standardization Sector. Another example, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a group that publishes the specifications for mobile technologies. Regulators need to be mindful of the work done in the SDOs in order to better…

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Spectrum licensing: local and private networks in Germany

Spectrum licensing: local and private networks in Germany

Licensing for local and private networks Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels. Different from previous mobile technology generations, the fifth generation (5G) presents opportunities often discussed in terms of the new use cases and applications they enable. This is especially true for 5G usage scenarios for industrial applications, which require high bandwidth and low latency over a small coverage area. These types of applications have caused some regulators to consider offering spectrum to non-traditional players for private networks to support localized 5G applications. Proponents of this approach cite many benefits in terms of network management and customization. However, traditional telecommunications operators…

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Pakistan’s Universal Service Fund

Pakistan’s Universal Service Fund

UA funding and financing policies: tackling accessibility challenges Pakistan established an autonomous Universal Service Fund (USF) by the end of 2006, in accordance with rules and guidelines from the Telecommunications Law enacted in July 2003, the 2004 Mobile Cellular Policy, and the 2004 Broadband Policy. It was created by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) with the goal of promoting the development of telecommunication services in unserved and underserved areas throughout the country. The USF follows a Corporate Model under Section 42 of the Pakistani Companies Ordinance. The main objectives of the USF are: to make telecommunication operators…

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Cross-border collaboration in the digital environment

Cross-border collaboration in the digital environment

The digital environment is global in nature. For example, Internet users in most jurisdictions can typically view websites and content from anywhere in the world, subject to copyright or other limitations. Global e-commerce enables buyers in one country to purchase goods and services from sellers in another country. With online communications, people can video conference, call, and message for free or at relatively low cost, regardless of location or borders. Billions of these transactions occur daily, involving every sector. This, in turn, raise issues for governments in terms of how to address a host of cross-border issues, including data privacy…

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Mitigation phase: infrastructure duplication, resource sharing, and regulatory forbearance

Infrastructure duplication Making networks resilient calls for the elimination of single points of failure, especially for backbone cables and critical equipment such as authentication servers (ITU 2014). Costs can be reduced by ensuring that competing operators have their own separately routed and equipped networks but agree that after a disaster they will make their networks available to each other. Such arrangements need care, both because they could weaken competition and because routes that are disjointed in one layer of a network could well be sharing a lower layer. However, having separately routed networks is not enough: there should actually be…

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Preparedness phase: community outreach

Community outreach Operators can be expected to tell their customers about their own products, but not necessarily about communications more generally. Information needs to be repeated for each generation. For instance, at the time of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, 21 per cent of the public in Japan did not know about the phone and Internet message boards (for sharing knowledge of casualties) and 91 per cent had not used them, though they had existed for about twenty years (ITU 2013). The regulator should require that operators inform not just their employees but also their customers about the telecommunications plan…

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Recovery phase: infrastructure reconstruction

Infrastructure reconstruction Reconstruction of the telecommunications infrastructure should follow soon after the disaster, and should consider rebuilding more resilient telecommunication/ICT network infrastructure and include potential redundant network deployments wherever possible to prepare for future disasters. Government and the private sector should also take advantage of the opportunity to rebuild relevant telecommunication/ICT infrastructure, and where possible, to deploy technologies that are more resilient, efficient, and less expensive (ITU 2020). For post-disaster needs assessments, there is a guide oriented to costing replacements for damaged telecommunications equipment and infrastructure (PDNA 2014). Also, reconstruction might present many opportunities for improvement. For instance: Weaknesses exposed…

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