The European Commission has made a decision on implementing the harmonization of the 40.5-43.5 GHz frequency band for terrestrial systems capable of providing wireless broadband electrical communications services within the Union. With regard to the Decision No 676/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on the regulatory framework for radio spectrum policy in the European Community (Radio Spectrum Decision), and with a prices on Article 4(3) thereof needs multiple updates to keep up with international standards and the needs of the public.
There is a need to further study the 40.5-43.5 GHz frequency band in the context of ensuring increased coordinated availabilities of radio spectrum to achieve very high speed fixed and wireless networks. The Directive requires Member States to actively promote the harmonization of used of radio spectrum by electronic communications networks and services across the Union, inter alia by pursuing wireless broadband coverage of their national territory and population at high quality and speed, as well as coverage of major national and European transport paths.
The 40.5-43.5 GHz frequency band was harmonized globally for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) at the 2019 World Radio communication Conference (WRC-19) through amending the Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunications Union’s Radiocommunications Sector (ITU-R). The relevant amendment to the Radio Regulations stipulates measures to ensure coexistence between IMT systems, including 5G, and Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) as well as the Radio Astronomy Service (RAS) within the 42 GHz frequency band.
Coexistence between terrestrial systems providing WBB ECS (including 5G) and FSS earth stations operating in the 42 GHZ frequency band, and in the adjacent 39.5-40.5 GHz frequency band, can be ensured by applying, when appropriate, technical constraints to the deployment of WBB ECS base stations in a limited geographical area around ta satellite earth station. Coexistence measures should be considered between FSS earth stations and WBB ECB base stations where they are near each other, recognizing that WBB ECS Base stations are expected to be deployed primarily in densely populated areas. In line with Directive 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council compliance of WBB ECS Base stations and terminal stations with the out-of-band emissions’ limits below 40.5 GHz and above 43.5 GHz should be based on the assumptions referred to in the CEPT Report 82.
Here is what has been adopted in this Decision. First the establishment of the essential harmonized technical conditions for the availability and efficient use of the 40.5-43.5 GHz frequency band in the Union for terrestrial systems capable of providing wireless broadband electronic communications services. Member states shall designate and make available o the non-exclusive basis the 40.5-54.5 GHz frequency band for terrestrial systems capable of providing wireless broadband electronic communications services, in compliance with the technical conditions set out in the Annex.
The Member States have to ensure that while in compliance with the technical conditions set out in the Annex, the terrestrial systems referred to in Article 1 protect the following systems appropriately and do not constrain their future evolution and development by these following three things. First the systems in the Radio Astronomy Service operating within the 42.5-43.5 GHz frequency band. Second, the satellite systems in the Fixed Satellite Service operating within the 40.5-42.5 GHz frequency band fro space-to-Earth communications and within the 42.5-43.5 GHz frequency band for Earth-to-space communications. Third, satellite systems in the Fixed Satellite Service and Mobile Satellite Service operating within the 39.5-40.5 GHz frequency band for space-to-Earth communications.
As well as needing all Member states to ensure the coexistence of the terrestrial systems referred to in Article 1 with the continued operation of terrestrial fixed links within the 40.5-43.5 GHz frequency band, based on frequency coordination at national level. Member state may also enable the future evolution and development of terrestrial fixed links within the 40.5-43.5 GHz frequency band at national level. Under the condition that the number and locations of new satellite earth stations are determined so as not to impose disproportionate constraints on the systems referred to in Article 1, and subject to market demand for such stations, Member States shall ensure the continued deployment and operation of existing and new satellite earth stations providing Fixed Satellite Service within the 40.5-43.5 GHz frequency band. Member States shall facilitate cross-border coordination agreements to enable operation of the terrestrial systems referred to in Article 1, taking into account existing regulatory procedures and rights applicable under relevant international agreements.
Member states will be expected to implement this Decision by December 31, 2026. Member States shall provide the Commission with all necessary information on the implementation of this Decision immediately after the adoption of the relevant national measures. As well as monitoring the use of the 40.5-43.5 GHz frequency band, including the progress on coexistence between the terrestrial systems referred to in Article 1 and other systems using that band, and report their findings to the Commission upon request or on their own initiative to allow for a timely review of this Decision.