Spectrum saves lives says TCCA

TCCA has made a renewed call for the allocation of spectrum to critical communications.

The call coincides with the World Radio Communications Conference currently taking place in Dubai, during which a key agenda item is a review of spectrum use, and the needs of existing services in frequency band 470-694 MHz, in ITU Region 1. This covers Europe, Africa, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Mongolia, and the Middle East, west of the Persian Gulf, including Iraq.

In particular, the association has called for a “co-primary allocation of the frequency band 470-694 MHz to mobile service. And a subsequent consideration on how this spectrum could be best used by mobile services to help meet the additional spectrum needs of mission-critical users, especially public protection and disaster relief organisations.”

Discussing the issue in more depth, a TCCA spokesperson said: “Additional mobile allocation would allow the critical communications sector to better meet the growing needs for spectrum in response to developing environmental, socio-economic and geopolitical challenges.

“It would support the digital transformation of the critical communications sector and accelerate the adoption of greener, more energy efficient technologies. These would be enabled through the use of critical communications broadband services, with harmonised spectrum facilitating PPDR cooperation across national borders.”

TCCA states that band 470-694 MHz has favourable propagation characteristics for geographical coverage where 3GPP standardised products and services are available. Spectrum needs for PPDR applications vary nationally it says, between 2×10 MHz - as expressed at the ITU Conference Preparatory Meeting earlier this year - and up to 60 MHz in the frequency band 470-694 MHz.

Discussing the issue, BDBOS’ Luz Fernández del Rosal said: “Without sufficient spectrum, these organisations cannot carry out their vital work in protecting citizens, communities, and critical national infrastructures. Existing narrowband services for critical communications have dedicated spectrum. This is not the case in most countries when it comes to 4G and 5G networks.”

Fernández del Rosal leads TCCA’s spectrum task force, alongside Nokia’s Noel Kirkaldy.

TCCA’s full position on spectrum for WRC-23 can be read on the organisation's website.