Spectrum Sharing and Trading - Telecommunications Regulatory

Spectrum Sharing and Trading
Africa Asia Regulatory Conference 2012
Helasiri Ranatunga
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka
Table of contents
Spectrum Sharing
Spectrum Trading
Trends in Reform
Leading Practices
Country Examples
The demand for radio spectrum is growing very
Traditionally, use of radio spectrum has been
highly regulated.
Delayed the introduction and growth of a variety
of beneficial technologies and services.
Cost of the spectrum has increased due to an
artificial scarcity.
Gradual changes in practice of spectrum
management and regulation.
Light-handed regulation.
Spectrum Sharing
Leasing of a given quantum of airwaves within
a licensed service area for a mutually agreed
Not a universal trend for all Regulators.
Approaches are not similar.
Increase efficiency in spectrum utilization and
temporarily fulfilling the demand for spectrum.
Spectrum sharing is generally treated as part
of active infrastructure sharing.
Spectrum Sharing
Spectrum sharing involves several techniques.
Interference cannot be eliminated in any
of these methods and remain as an
ongoing challenge for spectrum engineers
Spectrum Sharing
Administrative Sharing
Involves the Regulator’s actions to establish where
sharing should take place and what rules should
Consultations with stakeholders to obtain
necessary information to support decisions on
sharing and technical standards.
Encourage solutions based on negotiations
between affected parties.
Should adopt efficient and transparent processes
for awarding licences.
Spectrum Sharing
Technically enabled Sharing
Technical efficiency can be measured as occupancy
and data rate.
Spectrum sharing technologies include Spread
spectrum, Dynamic access and Ultra-wideband
Spread spectrum
Underlay technique
Signals with a very low spectral power density
Technique of spreading a signal over a very wide
Spectrum Sharing
Technically enabled Sharing
Underlay technique
Short-range and indoor applications
Easier to engineer extremely high data rates due to short
duration of the UWB pulses
Dynamic Spectrum Access
Overlay technique
Associated with, technologies and concepts such as
Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Cognitive Radio.
Detect unused frequencies
Changing frequency bands and adjusting power as
Spectrum Trading
More economically efficient use of frequencies.
Trade will only take place if the spectrum is worth
more to the new user than to the old user.
Spectrum is initially assigned through the
Allows parties to transfer their spectrum rights
and obligations for certain value.
Possible for companies to expand more quickly.
Easier for prospective new market entrants to
acquire spectrum.
Spectrum Trading
Should be few bureaucratic obstacles to the transfer
of spectrum. Trust in unrestricted market forces.
Should construct trading rules for the release of
spectrum in ways that promote competition.
Initial assignment mechanism chosen by the
regulatory authority shapes the market structure by
Dividing up the spectrum
Limiting the maximum amount of spectrum any one user
may acquire.
Spectrum Trading
Availability of clear information,
which frequencies are available,
what they can be used for,
who is currently using them,
what needs to be done in order to obtain a right of use.
After the primary assignment of spectrum, the
regulator would only have to intervene if
users wished to return spectrum, or
right of use were withdrawn due to a breach of the conditions of
Risk of a structure emerging which contains a
monopoly or a dominant firm or firms.
Acquisition of “excessive” spectrum, should be
prevented by the regulatory authority
Spectrum Trading
Establish rules that specify how spectrum trading
should take place
Prior approval of trades or transfers of spectrum.
Set spectrum caps.
Regulator should have the power to scrutinize and
if appropriate, prohibit certain spectrum trades.
Alternatively, Regulator decides the extension of
spectrum usage right.
Make sense to give the regulatory authority the
option of withdrawing spectrum usage rights due
to imperfections in the market.
Trends in Reform
Policy and regulation have evolved considerably.
Shift from traditional model, in countries where
demand for radio spectrum use is rising fast.
Some of the concepts supporting reforms
Liberalization and flexibility;
Technology and service neutrality; and
Licensing reform including spectrum transfers.
Trends in Reform
Regulatory Structure
Combination of telecommunications, broadcasting
and spectrum regulators can facilitate spectrum
Examples; Australia, UK, Canada and Germany
Debatable whether an independent spectrum
Regulator should be combined with those of
regulating competition and protecting consumers
in downstream service markets.
Leading Practices
In most countries, radio spectrum is, very
closely managed and supervised as per ITU
Minimize harmful interference and referred to
as the “command and control” model.
Shift from traditional model, countries where
demand for radio spectrum use is rising fast.
Leading Practices
Spectrum User Rights
Rights should be established to avoid conflicts
Permit parties to re-negotiate rights when
circumstances change.
Licence Database
The ability of potential sellers and buyers to keep
track of current licences is important.
Enable regulators to track and assess the usage of
Dispute Resolution
Essential to have effective means of resolving issues
between parties.
Country Examples
New Zealand – Spectrum Trading
Pioneered the application of competitive assignments
based on auctions for radio spectrum .
India – 3G and Broadband Wireless Access
Department of Telecommunications (DOT) auctioned 3G
spectrum in 22 service areas throughout the country in
2010, followed by auctioning of 2.3GHz band for BWA.
Brazil – Broadband Wireless Access
ANATEL in Brazil issued 4 licences per licensed area for 3G
wireless deployment in the whole country.
Operators are allowed to share spectrum in order to
provide services in municipalities with less than 30,000
Country Examples
United Kingdom – Flexible User Rights and
Spectrum Trading
OFCOM is shifting spectrum policy towards a flexible
system through the liberalization of spectrum usage rights
and spectrum trading.
Service and technological neutrality.
United States – Flexible Spectrum Use and
Broadband Wireless Access.
Moved progressively in the direction of flexible use of
Spectrum trading, including the ability to lease spectrum.
Should match with the Government overall policy.
Proper regulatory framework should be in place.
Rules, Regulations and Guidelines should be clearly
Determine practical methods for compliance
Effective mechanism should be available for dispute
Shift away from exclusive use require both time and
negotiation with stakeholders.
Countries need to identify the challenges involved.
Thank You.