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IRIS 2018-6:1/32


Slovenia going ahead with the new Strategy on Radio Frequency Spectrum Management

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Miha Kriselj

OpenLab institute

On 6 April 2018, the Slovenian Agency for Communication Networks and Services (AKOS) published a Strategy on Radio Frequency Spectrum Management. The document which was in public consultation until 22th of April 2018 is a 3 year strategy aiming to follow technology development particularly in the field of broadband mobile communications symbolised by 4G and anticipated 5G which may be considered as a future platform for Broadcasting, Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) and Private Mobile Radio (PMR) - also known as Professional Mobile Radio.

The goals of the proposed Strategy are:

- Timely provision of sufficient spectrum needed for implementation of the latest technologies providing a stable environment for operators and other investors;

- Enabling digital inclusion of citizens at the highest possible territorial penetration;

- Encouraging investment and development as well as the timely introduction of new regulatory models when implementing new innovative services in the field of wireless electronic communications;

- Using spectrum to achieve a high social economic development;

- Providing connectivity between people and devices in all segments of social society such as traffic, transportation, health and energy;

- Establishing conditions for implementation of radio systems for Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) and Connected Autonomous Driving (CAD) as well as increasing spectrum demand for mobile communications;

- Maintaining efficient competition on the wireless communication markets;

- Providing sufficient spectrum for all services.

The Strategy addresses a wide range of radio frequency spectrum but among others the Agency is planning to follow the convergence of public mobile and broadcasting services in the UHF band as well as the transition from DTT to LTE and 5G in the time period 2018-2023. In 2018 three development projects are planned:

- 5G and public mobile and broadcasting services convergence in the UHF as well as transition from DTT to LTE,

- Preparatory activities for 700 MHz tender for mobile services,

- Strategy on development of Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) infrastructure.

An auction of the 700 MHz band is dependent on adoption of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) anticipated in June 2018. Given that the 700 MHz band is currently used for digital terrestrial television (DTT) until 30.6.2020 according to the Decision (EU) 2017/899, the frequencies licensed at the public auction will apparently be used for test purposes. The use of the 700 MHz band has to be coordinated with neighbouring countries who have already announced delays in releasing the 700 MHz band for new services:

- Hungary, not before 6.9.2020

- Croatia, not before 26.10.2021

- Italy, not before 30.6.2022

The strategy does not address the concept of free-to-air (FTA) services where one does not need to be a subscriber of the operator. Regarding the DTT platform there is no survey on why people are watching television channels via DTT but one can assume that the cost of subscription to television services might be a relevant factor.  

Agencija za Komunikacijska Omrežja in Storitve, Strategija upravljanja z radiofrekvenčnim spektrom, April 2018 SL
  Agency for Communication Networks and Services of the Republic of Slovenia, Strategy on Radio Frequency Spectrum Management, April 2018