WGFM Correspondence Groups and Reflectors

19 Oct 2016, 11:00
This page includes information about three on-going correspondence activities in WGFM:


Spectrum requirements for drones (started at WGFM#82 – February 2015)

The ECC noted the importance of a close relationship with ADCO. Three areas were particularly noted, whereas one out of these was: ADCO envisages a campaign on remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS). Several ECC administrations confirmed the interest for such campaign. In addition, WG FM was task to investigate whether any action in relation with spectrum regulation for RPAS/UAS is necessary.

Invited by the Austrian Administration Mr. Franco Fresolone from the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) held a presentation (INFO 005) concerning the first assumptions and considerations on the spectrum requirements for RPAS for commercial purposes. The presented requirements were based on the scenarios of the EU funded project “AEROCEPTOR” that includes the control of the RPAS and possible payloads for up- and downlink.

The presentation triggered a lively discussion about related technical and regulatory aspects.

Whilst some administrations saw a benefit in investigating whether there is a need to deal with the issue on CEPT level at an early stage, were others more cautious.

However, it became clear that in a first step further clarification is needed which questions exactly have to be answered. Since various services/applications seem to be affected, and no dedicated Project Team on RPAS exists within WG FM, WG FM agreed to establish a correspondence group.

The correspondence activity is under the lead of Mr Florian Cziczatka (AUT), email: florian.cziczatka@bmvit.gv.at, shall collect information (inter alia: application and use cases with focus on commercial use, demarcation to military/governmental uses, air traffic control regulation, Research activities), also by contacting e.g. CEPT PTs, ADCO and other as necessary; propose a possible way forward to the next WG FM meeting.

WGFM#83 agreed a questionnaire to CEPT administrations and stakeholders on this subject, see  http://www.cept.org/ecc/tools-and-services/ecc-questionnaires.

The reflector fm_cg_drones@list.cept.org was established for these correspondence activities. In order to contribute to this activity WG FM participants are invited to subscribe to the respective reflector: FM_CG_DRONES-request@list.cept.org?subject=Subscribe

WG FM, at its meeting in February 2016 had supported the initial assessment of the responses to the questionnaire on drones as provided by its correspondence group. WG FM had also agreed to develop an ECC Report reflecting the results and the assessments of the responses to the questionnaire as well as any additional information on this issue.

It was outlined by the WG FM Chairman that such an ECC Report will contain information related to spectrum as well as information related to the aeronautical aspects. The target date for this new ECC Report is October 2017.

It was questioned whether the development of a new ECC Recommendation on frequency bands for RPAS would be necessary. The meeting agreed that it would be useful to provide guidance to administrations and industry on frequency bands which would be suitable for drones, both control/command and payload, and that such a Recommendation could be supportive in this respect. However, before this can be considered in detail, the ECC Report should be available, at least as a stable draft.

About the results from WGFM#85 (23-27 May 2016):

  • the development of the respective new EU regulation (which will replace the current EASA regulation) is still ongoing and will not be available in time to fit the target date for this Work Item. The Chairman of the CG proposed to shift the target date to the May meeting of WG FM in 2017, which was endorsed by the meeting.
  • that it may be necessary to have physical meetings and if this issue is getting more important to upgrade the CG to a Project Team. 


WGFM#86 - October 2016:

  • The chairman of the CG gave a short presentation, which contained the current version of the draft ECC Report as well as some preliminary consideration on possible frequency bands incl. proposals for a new application terms for EFIS and missing allocations in the ECA in the bands 5030 – 5150 MHz. The proposed chances to EFIS have been taken on board by the chairman of the EFIS/MG. A corresponding input to the next meeting of the EFIS/MG will be provided by the chairman of the CG. 
  • The missing allocations in the ECA are seen as a correction and can be added immediately by the Office following the rules for the ECA Table for allocations. 
  • The focus of the draft ECC Report is on the civil use of UAS pilotless and follows the “Prototype” Regulation from EASA which only encompasses the “Open” Category and the “Specific” Category but not the “Certified” Category as defined in the new regulatory approach for Europe. 
  • The Chairman of the CG presented the first considerations of possible frequency bands. These are the bands 1900 – 1920 MHz and 5030 – 5250 MHz. 
  • Eurocontrol informed the meeting that the RPAS group of ICAO is also focusing on the same parts of the 5 GHz band for the CNPC link. Their intention is to use this band for the “Certified” category.  
  • The Czech Republic asked about the definition of “professional use“ of drones and the related operational range. This would need to be clarified in the draft ECC Report. 
  • It was outlined by the ECO that information about the prototype regulation included in chapter 5 of the draft ECC Report allows to map professional use to the “Specific Category” and perhaps also the “Open categories” A2 and A3. After some discussion on a possible invitation to ICAO to participate in the work of the CG by the ECC, it was concluded that at this point in time, it was not necessary. 
  • The CG was tasked to monitor the ongoing work on the “EASA prototype regulation” and incorporate the relevant parts and final conclusions into the draft ECC Report.
  • In addition, Administrations, stakeholders and interested parties are requested to provide additional information and if possible to actively take part in the work of the CG. In particular, any information on possible frequency options for professional use is highly welcomed.  
  • In addition, WGFM#86 agreed a liaison statement to ETSI noting the work item for ETSI TR 103 373 - frequency use for professional unmanned aircraft systems; this could be used to support this initiative. 
  • The meeting also endorsed the request of the CG to have a further face to face meeting before the May meeting of WGFM in order to finalise the draft ECC Report for Public consultation.


The contact person for the email group is: Thomas.Weber@eco.cept.org

Maritime Broadband Links (start at WGFM#78 – October 2013)

Triggered by ETSI SRDoc: TR 103 109 ( Link to SRdoc ) . This SRdoc describes Maritime Broadband Radio (MBR) links for ships and fixed installations engaged in off-shore activities operating in the upper part of the 5 GHz range and requested ECC to develop relevant ECC Decision.

After consideration of the SRdoc WG FM agreed to request WG SE to conduct compatibility studies in the frequency range 5850-5900 MHz (i.e. 5850-5900 MHz) and developed the liaison statement to WGSE as in LS to WGSE 

In order to develop ECC Decision WG FM also agreed to establish a correspondence group on this issue with the task to report to the next WG FM on the structure of this decision and possible action of WG FM in response to the ETSI SRDoc.

Norway proposed Mr. Eirik Bliksrud (email: bliksrud@online.no) as a chairman for the Correspondence Group on MBR. WG FM agreed with this proposal. The WG FM Chairman invited administrations and all interested parties to participate in the CG.  

Furthermore, WGFM at the 79th meeting in Budapest, Hungary, 3-7 February 2014 decided:

WG FM agreed to the proposal of the CG MBR to send a request to ETSI to consider the adoption of a new work item for the creation of a new harmonised European standard for Maritime Broadband Radiolinks (MBR);

Further, Mr Weber outlined that the CG MBR has prepared the first draft ECC Decision on MBR, but this has not been agreed and definitely needs further work. For the time being, the draft ECC Decision was annexed to the progress report for information about the structure of such an ECC Decision. It should be noted that the requirements for licensing are not fixed yet and depend very much on the outcome of the investigations in WG SE. WG FM noted the progress of work.

In response to the question for clarification from WG SE on MBR, Mr Weber informed the meeting that MBR for ships and fixed installations engaged in off-shore activities operating in the 5 GHz to 8 GHz range’ (MBR) as described in ETSI SRdoc TR 103 109, WG FM, the following clarifications  can be provided after consultation with the FG MBR chairman:

MBR is a point-to-point radio link and not so much a mobile system although the system may move in a nomadic way.  In addition, MBR is a radio system and not an access technology. The MBR is solely maritime and there are no stations based on shore. The MBR links (there are usually more than 1) are only used between elements at the off-shore site which is relatively short ranged.  In this regard, the WG SE assumptions are confirmed. Further, the MBR system may well live with a secondary allocation.

As the system is solely maritime and no land based stations are involved, there may be a need to define a minimum distance from the shore where the system may operate (this may be included in the draft ECC Decision for MBR). It may not be necessary to study compatibility with land-based WAS/RLAN systems if a minimum separation distance is defined, unless WAS/RLAN is established on-board a ship or platform.

WG FM agreed to provide these clarifications in the liaison statement to WG SE.

Austria requested a clarification with regards to the applicability of such a regulatory approach for countries without sea shores. The United Kingdom suggested that a possibility could be to indicate in the future regulatory approach that MBR would not be allowed to be operated at inland waterways.

Considerations at WGFM#86 - October 2016:

  1. SE19 had finalised the draft ECC Report on sharing studies and interference analyses for MBR operating on the frequencies 5862 MHz and 5890 MHz. WG SE informed WG FM about the approval for public consultation of draft ECC Report 259 on “on sharing and compatibility studies between Maritime Broadband Radio (MBR) in the 5850–5900 MHz frequency band and other systems” (FM(16)183).
  2. The basis for an ECC Decision would be ECC Report 259 from WG SE with a harmonised standard as reference.The MBR is regarded as an application under the mobile service and it is expected that this service may be a licensed service. There may also be areas where coordination with other services is needed and a Decision may therefore contain coordination guidance for administrations.
  3. The draft harmonised ETSI standards on MBR are halted in anticipation of WG FM's near future considerations.The draft ECC Report has given considerations also to MBR with lower output power than specified in ETSI's System Reference Document (TR 103 109). Additionally, the ECC Report is pointing at the need for closer specification of polarisation for MBR.
  4. Draft ECC Report 259 deals with worst case scenarios, often with very low probability and short duration, and it seems to be necessary to give guidance to administrations in their licensing and coordination work.
  5. WG FM agreed that the CG MBR should now continue its work and will decide at the next meeting about the format of the ECC harmonisation deliverable after having been presented the major items of the draft deliverable from CG MBR.
  6. Especially the CG should analyse ECC Report 259 and develop elements for a future regulation.
  7. The CG may also consider operational frequencies for MBR, but it is assumed that the work would concentrate on the frequencies 5 862 MHz and 5 890 MHz.
  8. WG FM also approved the possibility for a physical meeting of the CG MBR. This meeting is scheduled to take place at the ECO in Copenhagen on 7-8 December 2016.

The WG FM CG MBR is foreseen to continue work by correspondence during the next months.
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Machine-to-Machine applications (M2M) via satellite (correspondence started at WGFM#86 - October 2016 

WGFM#86 – October 2016:

So far, an analysis done on a more detailed consideration had been presented by France at the last FM44 meeting. This explained that in bands below 1 GHz, that are collectively used by SRDs, that there was an absence of RR space allocations (in those frequency bands) except for a small number of countries in Eastern Europe. From the French point of view the collection of data of such low power devices by a space station would be allowed on a regulatory basis but without protection.

Clarifications were given to the United Kingdom that the technical characteristics of terminals were not studied in detail at this stage and would need some joint work with SRD experts. It was also clarified that a satellite downlink sending orders to terminals is expected in such a satellite application and would need more analysis to check the viability of such transmission without a space allocation (feasibility is established under Article 4.4 of the RR).

The FM44 project team chairman reported that some administrations expressed the need, during FM44 meeting, to extend the scope of such a work to M2M applications via satellite without limiting it to the existing SRD frequency bands under 1 GHz. During the meeting, the Russian Federation supported this view and proposed that such a work covers all kinds and trends of M2M applications via satellite.

For those reasons, FM44 had prepared a description of its possible contributions and tasks dealing with satellite regulatory issues (see doc. FM(16)219-Annex 7). The document does not constitute a requirement for a work item itself and should be completed after a joint work with the SRD/MG.

Italy and Germany proposed that a SRdoc describing the application should be developed first. The WG FM chairman explained that regulatory possibilities for such an application have to be clarified at least at a preliminary basis before any work on an ETSI SRdoc is commenced.

As the work may first need some joint work from the SRD and satellite groups, the meeting agreed to open a WG FM correspondence group and related email-reflector, led by France, to clarify open questions and better define the parameter before deciding to create a dedicated work item or any work on an ETSI SRdoc. The correspondence group will also be opened to ETSI members. WG FM, FM44 and SRD/MG will be informed.

This correspondence activity is led by Mr Emmanuel Faussurier, Emmanuel.FAUSSURIER@anfr.fr (F).

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The contact person for the email group is: Thomas.Weber@eco.cept.org