Experiment at the JRC's European Microwave Signature Laboratory
Radio frequencies for new and faster wireless services
A five year policy programme for the use of the EU’s radio spectrum has recently been proposed by the European Commission. The proposal includes steps to promote efficient spectrum management and, in particular, to ensure that sufficient spectrum is made available for wireless broadband. It also calls for improvement in the standardisation process. The JRC together with various standardisation bodies, such as the CEPT — European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations — will work closely to assure that services and wireless devices can be used seamlessly across borders.
The first Radio Spectrum Policy Programme, adopted by the Commission on 20 September as part of a package of measures regarding broadband communications, outlines at a strategic level how the use of spectrum can contribute to the most important political objectives of the European Union from 2011 to 2015.
Access to radio spectrum is essential for a huge range of activities from telephony and broadcasting through to transport and space applications, and it is crucial to ensure that EU citizens in both urban and rural areas can enjoy the benefits of digital technology and fast broadband connections. As not all the demand for spectrum can be satisfied, priorities need to be defined which ensure that spectrum is allocated and used in an efficient and effective way while ensuring the avoidance of harmful interference. More efficient and competitive use of spectrum in the EU would promote the development of innovative technologies and services, to the benefit of consumers and of Europe's overall competitiveness.
Through experimental activities carried out in the European Microwave Signature Laboratory (EMSL), the JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen is supporting the Commission's Directorate-General for the Information Society and Media in the implementation of the EU radio spectrum policy. For example, in 2009 JRC's scientists carried out in EMSL reference measurements to assess the possible coexistence of Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology with broadband wireless access and radar systems. These measurements allowed scientists to experimentally validate the technical limits set in the Commission Decision (2009/343/EC) which were exclusively based on numerical models and simulations specified by the Conference of European Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT).
The results of the JRC's pilot study have proven the co-existence of UWB systems with broadband wireless access and radar systems without the risk of harmful interference to the latter. These results will be used by the Commission to define a harmonised EU approach towards the use of UWB transmission in the vicinity of broadband wireless access networks.
JRC expertise in radio interference assessment is now addressing new challenges related to the security of the EU’s global navigation satellite system Galileo and its co-existence with other outdoor and indoor radio navigation systems. The team continues to research into ultra wideband wireless networks and is collaborating with the CEPT e.g. by enhancing the latter’s SEAMCAT simulation software using novel algorithms for interference assessment in the radio spectrum.