UK. Licenza di innovare. OFCOM premia lo spettro “creativo”

Dal regolatore inglese un bando molto particolare: quello per le idee su servizi wireless commerciali innovativi che in base alle normative attuali non troverebbero un inquadramento specifico


Radio Passioni

Un bell’esempio di pragmatismo, quello del regolatore inglese OFCOM. La notizia, che viene da un bollettino radioamatoriale, si riferisce a un bando molto particolare: quello per le idee su servizi wireless commerciali innovativi che in base alle normative attuali non troverebbero un inquadramento specifico. Una sorta di licenza “per l’innovazione” che renderebbe possibile, scrive OFCOM, l’uso innovativo dello spettro radio. Le frequenze da assegnare alle licenze speciali potrebbero essere individaute secondo il regolatore inglese all’interno di finestre oggi gestite da organismi pubblici come il Ministero della difesa. Come dire: avete in mente un servizio radio “vendibile” ma talmente innovativo da non essere classificabile in base alle tipologie di licenza oggi in vigore? Allora voi cominciate con l’implementare il servizio, poi vedremo di adeguare ex post le nostre regole.
Un bel modo per adattarsi a una realtà tecnologica ed economica in perenne divenire con normative che fanno sempre più fatica a stare al passo. A legiferare prima si sbaglia? Proviamo a farlo dopo, a patto che prima ci si muova sempre in un ambito controllabile (in questo caso in porzioni di spettro già assegnate e gestite). Avete commenti da fare o idee da sottoporre? L’OFCOM le raccoglierà fino al 18 dicembre. Per scaricare la documentazione, ecco la pagina del sito del regolatore.

Innovative uses of spectrum

Consultation published: 09|10|2008 Consultation closes: 18|12|2008

1.1 In recent years, we have been approached by a number of organisations that wish to launch innovative commercial wireless services using spectrum for which there are no existing suitable licences. Existing processes already allow organisations to access spectrum for non-operational use, in particular for testing and development purposes. Organisations also have the ability to negotiate with existing licensees to use spectrum that is liberalised and tradable. This document considers the general approach that we propose to take when licensing commercial use of non-liberalised and non-tradable spectrum for which there are no existing suitable licences.

1.2 We are already doing a number of things to encourage innovative uses of spectrum. For example, we are in the middle of a programme of open, transparent and non-discriminatory awards that are releasing spectrum on a service- and technology-neutral basis. We are reducing the restrictions imposed by existing licence classes and encouraging market forces by introducing spectrum trading. And we are working with the Government to improve the efficiency of its spectrum use.

1.3 Once complete, these actions will have fostered a market-led approach to spectrum access. However, for now, licensing use that does not fit within an existing licence class requires us to consult on and create a new bespoke product. This is time-consuming and may not always be proportionate – when a user wishes to carry out a commercial trial or launch a new service rapidly, for example. So we are proposing to create a new type of licence to accommodate these requests. This “innovation licence” is designed to suit uses of spectrum that can benefit from access with more flexibility than a non-operational licence. We expect that it will often be used as an interim measure to allow organisations to launch commercial services more rapidly than would otherwise be possible. We expect that organisations using innovation licences will often wish to migrate to use spectrum licences that offer greater security of tenure and rights to protection from interference. As such, we would expect that innovation licences will often only be needed for a short period of time. Although, as explained below we are proposing that in general the licence has an indefinite duration, although licensees would need to accept short security of tenure and limited protection from interference.

1.4 Initially, we are proposing that innovation licences are only available in spectrum managed by public bodies (e.g. the Ministry of Defence – MOD). This may be extended to other bands in the future, although we would not expect to introduce innovation licences for spectrum that has already been liberalised and tradable.

1.5 Table 1 summarises the key features we are proposing for the innovation licence (which we would formally term a Spectrum Access: Non-Protected licence). Those relating to licence term, revocation and protection from interference are particularly important for this licence product.

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