Minutes of the 4th CEE RWG Meeting
Bucharest, 26-27 May, 2014
The CEE RWG meeting was hosted by ANCOM. The first meeting session, which approached administrative matters of the CEE RWG, was attended by representatives from: Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia. For the first time, the meeting was attended by governmental representatives from Moldova and Albania, as well as by a representative of CRC, the Bulgarian regulatory body. The Radiocommunications Bureau of ITU-R was also represented for this meeting.
The meeting was opened by the ANCOM President, Mr. Catalin Marinescu, who welcomed the participants to the group meeting, which ANCOM has been hosting for four years. He spoke about the four years of cooperation, of the Technical Arrangements signed on border coordination for terrestrial systems capable of providing electronic communications services in the frequency bands 790-862 MHz and 2500-2690 MHz, and on sharing experience on the digital television switchover and also on auctioning the 4G frequency spectrum. He went through the main topics of the day, expressing ANCOM's availability to approach topics beyond the frequency spectrum and of the next day session.
Launching the administrative session, Dr. Nicolae Oacă, CEERWG Chair, welcomed the participants and thanked them for cooperation since the last meeting, on 9 May, 2013. For the new participants, he mentioned the landmarks of the Group activity, since its very beginning. Then, he asked for the approval of the meeting agenda, which was approved without amendments.
The CEE RWG Secretariat presented the electronic consultations conducted since the last meeting, on the Working Methods of the Group and topics to be discussed within the Group, as well as the open list of Technical Arrangements signed on border coordination.
Dr. Oacă launched the discussion and approval of the electronically consulted topics. He showed that six CEE RWG members answered the consultation launched in February-March this year, expressing their interest for some or even all of the topic proposals in the list. The members were given the opportunity to present their arguments in favour of the chosen topics, by tours de table on groups of issues, according to the number of votes received. The tours de table were aimed at finding one main theme of regional concern for the next meeting, and for the next period, as well as additional themes of broad interest for the Group electronic consultations.
Regarding the shift from the first to the second Digital Dividend (DD2):
- Mr. Piro Xhixho, Chairman of AKEP (Albania) mentioned that they are still facing the challenges of the first Digital Dividend, but they are also interested in the discussions on DD2.
- Mrs. Daniela Aleksieva, from CRC (Bulgaria) would be interested in sharing information on the progress of DD1 and even DD2.
- Mr. Gyula Simon, from NMHH (Hungary), mentioned that they have completed the analogue switch-off last year, and they are thinking of approaching DD2, but it may be too early, since their broadcasters have licences in these bands until 2020.
- Mr. Dimitri Parfentiev, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Republic of Moldova, specified that they are in the process of implementing DD1, but they are also willing to discuss DD2.
- Ms. Dragana Kaludjerovic, from EKIP (Montenegro), presented the authority's interest in further tackling the challenges of DD1, but is also open to exchanging information on DD2 developments.
- Mr. Silviu Fechet, from ANCOM (Romania), declared the interest in DD2, as Romania is completing the analogue switch-off in June 2015. It would be necessary to see the conclusions of WRC-15 and the decision of the European Commission regarding the 694-790 MHz band.
- Mr. Vladica Tintor, from RATEL (Serbia), expressed his institution's standing interest in dealing with the issues of DD1, and in approaching the challenges of DD2 in a regional context, at an unofficial level, and in more detail after WRC-15.
Dr. Oacă concluded that the participating authorities are still interested in DD1, as some countries are still working on its implementation. He also highlighted that there is a real interest for DD2, while most of the attendants were waiting for the results of WRC-15 in this respect.
Another tour de table was initiated on the topic of sharing information on the PP-14 candidacies, and the participants were invited to announce candidatures or ask for support. Mr. Marinescu further explained that in Romania the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates candidatures support, but they ask for the regulator's opinion.
AKEP showed that the same situation applies in Albania, i.e. the Foreign Affairs Ministry consults the regulator, the Moldovan representative explained that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs consults the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, while the Montenegro delegation mentioned they will inform their relevant Ministry.
NMHH presented the candidature of Mr. Peter Major to RRB, for Region B, and indicated that also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinated candidatures' support, RATEL also presented the Serbian candidate to RRB for Region C, and expressed openness in mutual support, for a win-win situation, provided that the Serbian Ministry of Communications advises thereon, whereas Romania presented its candidature to the ITU Council for Region C.
The participants continued discussing the other topic proposals, with the following highlights:
- Mr. Calinciuc (ANCOM), Vice-Chairman of CEPT/MARFG, explained in more detail the importance of putting together the expertise of the CEE RWG members for facilitating the procedure of obtaining the radio operator's certificate and for finding a harmonised approach and maybe a regional position on aeronautical and naval radiocommunications, as very important for the safety and security of goods and people. A possible regional harmonisation for the WRC-15 agenda items can be also an issue to be considered;
- the issue of sharing experience in dealing with the interferences between fixed links and satellite receiving devices in 10 GHz and 11 GHz bands, earlier proposed by RAK of Bosnia and Herzegovina, will be further circulated by e-mail and members were invited to contribute.
Then, the CEE RWG Secretariat presented the latest developments of the regional portal, the most important of which was the implementation of three shorter URL addresses: www.ceerwg.net, www.ceerwg.info and www.ceerwg.org. The CEE RWG members were strongly invited to send news, events, updates for their country pages, including the latest national statistics.
Finally, Dr. Oacă submitted for approval the Working Methods, after briefly presenting the consultation and the drafting process. The document was approved without objections and will be duly posted on www.ceerwg.net. According to the approved Working Methods, the members were warmly invited to launch candidatures for the Chair position, for ensuring the Secretariat, as well as for hosting the next meeting of the Regional Group - in conjunction or separately -, no later than 31 July. ANCOM reaffirmed its commitment to continue if no other NRA volunteers.
Dr. Oacă expressed the hope that the CEE RWG members will continue their regional cooperation at least at the same pace, thanked all the participants and officially closed the administrative session.
The second session, of 27th of May, was opened by Mr. Cătălin Marinescu, who introduced the CEE RWG to the guest of honour, Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU Deputy Secretary General, by presenting a brief history of the Group establishment and activity.
The distinguished guest expressed his confidence in the effectiveness of the CEE RWG works on the level of sub-regional coordination, which is very important in preparation of the great ITU events and especially of the WRC with successful results for the countries in the region (making more spectrum available for innovation and new technologies). He mentioned the excellent relations with the member countries, in the context of his candidature to the ITU Secretary General position, and encouraged all the NRAs in the CEE RWG to continue their collaboration, as a key to the enhanced development of telecommunications in their respective countries.
The Head of the Fixed and Mobile Services Division of ITU's Radiocommunications Bureau, Mr. Nikolai Vassiliev, also insisted on the importance of coordination of usage of Digital Dividend at a sub-regional level in his presentation on the Opportunities and challenges of utilization of digital dividend in 700 MHz (Annex 1). He presented the importance of the harmonised allocation of the DD2 from technical and regulatory points of view and appreciated the CEE RWG important initiative in considering this issue. The members should continue coordination of their plans on using DD and may start to consider joint re-planning of the 694-862 MHz band and modifying the GE06 Plan. Moreover, he suggested that ITU Radiocommunication Bureau could assist in such coordination meetings, by assisting in generating the initial requirements, compatibility analysis and all other related activities.
Mr. Georg Serentschy, Senior Director at Arthur D. Little Austria, approached the topic of the DD2, in a broader context in his presentation, entitled Implementation of DD1 and issues for DD2 and the TSM-package of the EC (Annex 2). From the experience of DD1, which is expected to be fully implemented in 2015, he anticipated a term of eight years from the WRC-15 for the implementation DD2. As the two speakers agreed, although eight years may seem a long period, it proved to be rather short for the implementation of DD1, which still raises challenges in some countries, so sustained coordination efforts need to be initiated as early as possible, in order to facilitate the implementation of the DD2.
Mr. Marinescu concluded that both the two sessions of the CEE RWG and the international conference on end-user empowerment organised by ANCOM bore enlightening results from the Romanian regulator's perspective and expressed his hope that all the participants found these events interesting and useful. Reiterating the outcome of the administrative CEE RWG session, he reminded the members to consider the launch of candidatures for the Group chairmanship, secretariat and the organisation of future meetings until end-July, thanked all the participants and officially closed the meeting.