Radiocommunications Advisory Guidelines (Managing Interference from Spectrum Licensed Transmitters - 800 MHz Band) 2012

Link to law: https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2012L01775

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Radiocommunications Advisory Guidelines (Managing Interference from Spectrum Licensed Transmitters – 800 MHz Band) 2012
Radiocommunications Act 1992
The AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY makes these Advisory Guidelines under section 262 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992.
Dated                                          17 August 2012
Chris Chapman
[signed]
Member
 
Richard Bean
[signed]
Member/General Manager
 
Australian Communications and Media Authority
1              Name of Advisory Guidelines
These guidelines are the Radiocommunications Advisory Guidelines (Managing Interference from Spectrum Licensed Transmitters – 800 MHz Band) 2012.
2              Commencement
These guidelines commence on 18 June 2013.
Note  All legislative instruments and compilations are registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments kept under the Legislative Instruments Act 2003. See http://www.frli.gov.au.
 
3              Revocation
The Radiocommunications Advisory Guidelines (Protection of Apparatus-licensed Receivers - 800 MHz Band) 1998 are revoked.
4              Purpose of these guidelines
(1)  The purpose of these guidelines is to manage interference by providing for the protection of radiocommunications receivers of apparatus licensed services operating in or adjacent to the 800 MHz band:
(a)       outside the spectrum licensed bands; or
(b)      outside the spectrum licensed areas.
 
(2)  The ACMA will take these guidelines into account in determining whether a spectrum licensed radiocommunications transmitter is causing interference to an apparatus licensed radiocommunications receiver operating in any of the circumstances set out in these guidelines.
5              Interpretation
(1)  In these guidelines, unless the contrary intention appears:
 
3GPP TS 45.005 means the technical specification “3GPP TS 45.005 Version 9.3.0 (2010-05), 3rd Generation Partnership Project, Technical Specification Group GSM/EDGE Radio Access Network, Radio Transmission and Reception (Release 9)” published by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project in May 2010, as in force on the day these guidelines commence.
Note       This 3GPP specification can be accessed through the 3GPP website: http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/html-info/45005.htm
 
800 MHz band means the frequency bands:
        (a)        825 MHz - 845 MHz (the 800 MHz Lower band); and
        (b)        870 MHz - 890 MHz (the 800 MHz Upper band).
Act means the Radiocommunications Act 1992.
RALI FX 11 means the Radiocommunications Assignment and Licensing Instruction No. FX 11 Studio to Transmitter Links and Sound Outside Broadcasting Services in the 900 MHz Band, published by the ACMA, as in force from time to time.
Note       The RALI FX 11 can be accessed through the following link: http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_2708.
RALI LM 8 means the Radiocommunications Assignment and Licensing Instruction No. LM 8 Frequency Assignment Requirements for the Land Mobile Service, published by the ACMA, as in force from time to time.
Note       The RALI LM 8 can be accessed through the following link: http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_2609.
SPP 2011-08 means the Spectrum Planning Report SPP 2011-08, published in June 2011 by the ACMA, titled ‘Compatibility Evaluation between 800 MHz IMT Services and 900 MHz GSM Services’ as in force on the day these guidelines commence.
        Note       Copies of this publication are available from the ACMA.
unwanted signal means all emissions from any radiocommunications transmitter which is not communicating with the radiocommunications receiver of a service protected by these guidelines.
wanted signal means the radiofrequency emission from a radiocommunications transmitter designed for communication between the transmitter and radiocommunications receiver of a service protected by these guidelines.
 
(2)  Unless the contrary intention appears, terms used in these guidelines that are defined in the Radiocommunications (Unacceptable Levels of Interference – 800 MHz Band) Determination 2012, have the same meaning as in that determination.
Note 1        The following term that is used in these guidelines is defined in the Radiocommunications (Unacceptable Levels of Interference – 800 MHz Band) Determination 2012:
-          geographic area
 
Note 2       A number of terms used in these guidelines are defined in the Act and unless the contrary intention appears, have the meaning given to them by the Act:
-          ACMA
-          core condition
-          frequency band
-          interference
-          radiocommunications receiver
-          radiocommunications transmitter
-          Register
-          spectrum licence
Part 1      Background
Parts of the 800 MHz band have been allocated by the issue of spectrum licences since 1998.  These allocations place spectrum licensed radiocommunications transmitters directly adjacent to apparatus licensed radiocommunications receivers of different services.  Apparatus licensed receivers may suffer interference from unwanted emissions and from blocking and intermodulation caused by a spectrum licensed radiocommunications transmitter.  Unwanted emissions are by-products of a transmitter’s emissions and include broadband noise, harmonics, intermodulation products, transient signals and other spurious signals.  Blocking occurs when a high level off-tune signal causes degradation in the quality of the wanted output signal, produced by the overloading of the receiver’s front-end.  Intermodulation products can be generated in the input stages of receivers by the presence of two or more high level signals at the receiver input.
These guidelines have been made for the management of this interference to apparatus licensed radiocommunications receivers operating in the following circumstances:
 
·         trunked land-mobile base radiocommunications receivers operating in the 820 - 825 MHz band and mobile radiocommunications receivers operating in the 865 - 870 MHz (Part 2 of the guidelines);
·         studio transmitter link receivers and sound outside broadcast link radiocommunications receivers, operating in the 845 - 852 MHz band (Part 3 of the guidelines);
·         Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) base station radiocommunications receivers, operating above 890 MHz (Part 4 of the guidelines); and
·         use of Mobile Communications Systems On-board Aircraft (MCA) (Part 5 of the guidelines).
 
Protection criteria and coordination arrangements recommended by these guidelines are contained within the applicable Radiofrequency Assignment and Licensing Instructions (RALIs), technology specifications and ACMA compatibility studies.
As radio waves propagate in different ways because of factors such as frequency, terrain, atmospheric conditions and path length, there are a number of ways to predict path loss.  The International Telecommunication Union Radio Sector (ITU-R) Recommendation P.1144 “Guide to the application of the propagation methods of Radiocommunications Study Group 3” gives a guide on the applications of various propagation methods developed internationally by the ITU-R.  It advises users on the most appropriate methods for particular applications as well as the limits, required input information, and output for each of these methods. It is recommended that the most recent version of propagation models defined by the ITU-R should be considered when modelling propagation in the 800 MHz band. 
Note 1    The ITU-R Recommendation P1144 is available from the ITU website at http://www.itu.int.
Note 2    The use of other published propagation models applicable to the 800 MHz band may also be suitable.
Part 2      Trunked land-mobile receivers
2.1           Background
(1)  The 800 MHz trunked land-mobile service operates in a paired band where base station radiocommunications receivers use the 820 - 825 MHz band and mobile station radiocommunications receivers use the 865 - 870 MHz band.  This places land-mobile receivers in these two bands in spectrum immediately adjacent to the 800 MHz spectrum licensing bands.
 
(2)   Protection of trunked land-mobile radiocommunications receivers from spectrum licensed radiocommunications transmitters is on a first-in-time basis.  Any existing apparatus licensed receiver licensed prior to the registration of a spectrum licensed transmitter in the Register of Radiocommunications Licences (the Register) will receive protection in accordance with these guidelines.
       Note The Register of Radiocommunications Licences is established under section 143 of the Act.
 
2.2           Trunked Land-Mobile Base Station Receivers
(1)  The protection requirements for base station radiocommunications receivers operating in the 820 - 825 MHz band segment for the percentage of time specified in RALI LM 8 are:
(a)    a wanted to unwanted signal level ratio at the receiver input not less than the wanted to unwanted ratio specified in RALI LM 8;
(b)   a blocking level at the receiver input not exceeding the blocking level specified in RALI LM 8; and
(c)    an unwanted signal level at the receiver input falling into any trunking channel in the above segment not exceeding the adjacent channel power requirement specified in RALI LM 8.
(2)  The radiofrequency (RF) selectivity performance of the base station radiocommunications receiver may be assumed to be at least equal to the performance of a cavity filter with a response as specified in RALI LM 8 tuned to the operating frequency of that receiver.  The base station receiver intermediate frequency (I.F.) bandwidth may be assumed to be that specified in RALI LM 8. The base station receiver antenna may be assumed to have a response equivalent to the notional antenna specified in RALI LM 8.
 
2.3           Trunked Land-Mobile Mobile Receivers
(1) The protection requirements for mobile radiocommunications receivers operating in the 865 - 870 MHz band segment for the percentage of time and percentage of locations specified in RALI LM 8 are:
(a)    a wanted to unwanted signal level ratio at the receiver input not less than the wanted to unwanted ratio specified in RALI LM 8;
(b)   a blocking level at the receiver input not exceeding the blocking level specified in RALI LM 8; and
(c)    an unwanted signal level at the receiver input falling into any trunking channel in the above segment not exceeding the adjacent channel power requirement specified in RALI LM 8.
(2) The mobile radiocommunications receiver I.F. bandwidth may be assumed to be that specified in RALI LM 8.
 
Part 3      Studio transmitter link receivers and sound outside broadcast link receivers
3.1           Background
(1)  Studio to transmitter links (STLs) operate in the 845 - 852 MHz band, adjacent to the 800 MHz spectrum licensed Lower band.  Sound outside broadcast links (SOB) also operate in this band, normally in the outer frequency segments 845 - 846.5 MHz and 850.5 - 852 MHz.  STL and SOB are one way, single frequency fixed service links.
(2)  STLs vary in bandwidth from a typical 250 kHz for digital systems to between 60 and 400 kHz for analogue systems.  RALI FX 11 specifies the maximum emission bandwidth for STLs as 400 kHz, in line with channelling arrangements in the 900 MHz Band Plan. Protection of STL radiocommunications receivers from spectrum licensed radiocommunications transmitters is on a first-in-time basis.  Any existing STL apparatus licensed receiver licensed prior to the registration of a spectrum licensed transmitter in the Register will receive protection in accordance with these guidelines.  SOBs typically utilise STL equipment on a temporary, transportable basis.  SOBs operate on a “no interference no protection” basis in the 845-852 MHz band with regard to fixed links of the primary service, other SOB links and spectrum licensed services in the 825-845 MHz band.
Note  The phrase “no interference no protection” refers to a service operating on the basis that it does not cause interference to a primary service and will not receive protection from that service. SOB apparatus licences operating in the 845-852 MHz band are subject to a special licence condition that no interference shall be caused to any radiocommunications station nor service operating on a primary basis and no protection from such stations or services is able to be afforded.
 
3.2           Protection requirements for studio to transmitter link receivers
 
The protection requirements for studio to transmitter link radiocommunications receivers operating in the 800 MHz band are specified in RALI FX 11.
 
3.3           Protection requirements for sound outside broadcast link receivers
 
RALI FX 11 does not provide for any protection for sound outside broadcast link radiocommunications receivers because of their temporary, transitory nature.
Part 4      GSM base station receivers
4.1           Background
 
(1)     The GSM service operates in a paired band arrangement where base station radiocommunications receivers use the 890 - 915 MHz band and base station radiocommunications transmitters use the 935 - 960 MHz band.  Base station receivers are in spectrum immediately adjacent to the 870 - 890 MHz spectrum licensed band (the 800 MHz Upper band).
 
(2)  Protection of GSM base station radiocommunications receivers from spectrum licensed radiocommunications transmitters is on a first-in-time basis.  Any existing apparatus licensed receiver licensed prior to the registration of a spectrum licensed transmitter in the Register will receive protection in accordance with these guidelines.
 
4.2           Protection requirements
(1)  The protection requirements for GSM base station radiocommunications receivers operating in the 890 – 915 MHz band segment for the percentage of time specified in SPP 2011-08 are:
(a)    a wanted to unwanted signal level ratio not greater than the carrier to interference ratio (C/I) specified in SPP 2011-08;
(b)   a signal level not exceeding the blocking levels specified in 3GPP TS 45.005; and
(c)    the level of two signals, which have a frequency relationship such that a third-order intermodulation product falls within the I.F. bandwidth of the receive frequency of a GSM base receiver, not exceeding the receiver intermodulation level specified in 3GPP TS 45.005.
(2)  The reference point for all signal levels is the base station system (BSS) radiocommunications receiver antenna connector. The base station receiver I.F. bandwidth may be assumed to be that specified in SPP 2011-08. The wanted signal level may be assumed to be never less than -104 dBm.  Where multiple signals appear at the receiver antenna connector, an allowance for the summation of the power of multiple signals may be required to ensure that these requirements are met.
4.3           Additional information on GSM protection requirements
(1)  GSM services commenced operation in the adjacent band 890 – 915 MHz paired with 935 – 960 MHz (900 MHz) in 1995.  The resulting frequency duplex division (FDD) arrangement between the bands here is atypical for spectrum management practices in that the 800 MHz base transmit sector (870 – 890 MHz) is directly adjacent to the 900 MHz base receive sector (890 – 915 MHz).  This situation reflects the government requirements at the time to ensure competition between telecommunications services, and to take account of the constraints presented by frequency arrangements set by regional standards making bodies.
(2)  The spectrum licensing technical framework in the 800 MHz band has now been updated to allow for the usage of modern digital cellular technologies in the band. In particular, it is considered that the class of International Mobile Telecommunication (IMT) technologies are likely to be used in this band.  For this purpose, a new Compatibility Evaluation Report (SPP 2011-08) addresses the protection requirements for GSM apparatus licensed radiocommunications receivers from adjacent band IMT spectrum licensed radiocommunications transmitters.  This report covers the out-of-band emission limits at the 890 MHz band edge and isolation requirements to prevent interference due to receiver blocking and intermodulation products.
(3)  A feature of the previous framework was that filters were fitted at many sites to 800 MHz base radiocommunications transmitters and GSM base radiocommunications receivers in addition to those used in normal system configurations.  This was necessary to minimise the likelihood of interference to GSM base receivers and thus optimise the use of these bands for both technologies.  This requirement was critical at the 890 MHz frequency boundary between the bands, but was also implemented in other parts of the GSM bands on an as required basis by licensees.  Previously, there has been a requirement to implement filters at locations where 800 MHz transmitters and 900 MHz receivers were co-sited.  An example characteristic of an additional GSM receiver RF filter fitted at co-located sites is described in SPP 2011-08, or alternatively, specific characteristics may be obtained from GSM licensees.
(4)  Similarly, the implementation of filters will be necessary for modern usage of the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands to ensure optimal spectrum usage and to minimise potential interference.  These conditions will facilitate the ongoing deployment of IMT technologies in the 800 MHz band as well as GSM and IMT technologies in the 900 MHz band.  It is also noted that some operators have already deployed IMT systems in the 900 MHz band and it is anticipated that the remaining GSM services may be migrated to IMT technologies in the future.  It is expected that licensees in both bands will find it difficult to deploy equipment without causing interference to adjacent band systems within several kilometres, unless additional high performance filtering and appropriate network planning is employed, in the same way as previously done in the Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS)/GSM solution.  The filters already in place on GSM systems can assist in this regard.  Negotiation between affected parties is seen as essential to optimising spectrum utility and access at the 890 MHz frequency boundary.
 
Part 5      Use of Mobile Communications Systems On-board Aircraft (MCA)
5.1           Background
 
(1)   Recent years have seen increased interest and growing demand for the use of mobile communications on-board aircraft (MCA).  These systems are expected to provide enhanced customer experiences and greater connectivity when travelling on international and domestic flights.  The first successful trials of these devices in Australia were conducted in 2007 and tested packet data functionality with no reports of interference received.
 
(2)     MCA systems are comprised of two main transmitting components:
 
(a)      the base station (BTS) radiocommunications transmitter which is typically a low powered pico-cell connected to a leaky cable antenna system run through the passenger cabin of the aircraft; and
 
(b)      the system controller, being either a CRFMU (Cell-phone Radio Frequency Management Unit) or NCU (Network Control Unit), which transmits a broadband noise signal in mobile communications frequency bands designed to mask reception of terrestrial mobile networks within the aircraft.  It is a low powered signal transmitted over a leaky cable antenna system run through the passenger cabin of the aircraft. The transmission of this signal is designed to control mobile terminals on-board the aircraft such that they cannot connect to the terrestrial network, may only connect to the on-board BTS and only operate at low power.
 
(3)     Use of MCA systems in spectrum licensed frequency bands and geographic areas may be authorised either directly under the corresponding spectrum licence or through a third party authorisation with the affected spectrum licensee made under section 68 of the Act.  Where the MCA system is operated by the spectrum licensee it must adhere to the core conditions of the spectrum licence. Where the MCA system is operated by a third party under a third party authorisation, it is the spectrum licensee’s responsibility to ensure that its operation is in accordance with the core conditions of the spectrum licence.  Third party authorisations must be obtained for both BTS and CRFMU/NCU radiocommunications transmitters in each spectrum licensed band of operation.  Under current spectrum licensing arrangements, licensees/operators providing a mobile telephone service must authorise each mobile handset or user equipment transmitting device that operates in their spectrum space.
(4)   It is recommended that operation of MCA systems in spectrum licensed bands (either directly under a spectrum licence or via a third party authorisation) also adhere to the conditions of the Public Mobile Telecommunications Service (PMTS) Class C licence set out in the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (PTS Licence) Determination 1997. The PMTS Class C licence was created to authorise operation of MCA systems in apparatus licensed bands.  These conditions were developed in consultation with industry and consideration of international deployments of similar systems.
5.2           Recommended MCA Technical Conditions
 
(a)         Frequencies of Operation
Operation of the CRFMU/NCU unit is limited to these frequency ranges:
·            870 - 890 MHz
·            935 - 960 MHz
·            1805 - 1880 MHz
·            2110 - 2170 MHz.
Operation of the BTS unit is limited to these frequency ranges:
·            1710 - 1785 MHz
·            1805 - 1880 MHz.
(b)          Height Restriction
The licensee should not operate a station below a height of 5000m above ground level.
(c)           Emission Limits - CRFMU
Emissions from the CRFMU should not exceed the following power levels, measured in a 30 kHz bandwidth, at any point outside the aircraft:
·            -20.6dBm within the frequency range 870 - 890 MHz
·            -25dBm within the frequency range 935 - 960 MHz
·            -20dBm within the frequency range 1805 - 1880 MHz
·            -20dBm within the frequency range 2110 - 2170 MHz.
(d)          Emission Limits-  BTS
Emissions from the BTS should not exceed -12dBm, measured within a 30 kHz bandwidth at any point outside the aircraft.
Mobile stations connected to the BTS should be controlled to operate at a power control level of 15 which is nominal output power 0dBm, as specified for ‘DCS1800’ in Part 4.1.1 of 3GPP TS 45.005.
 
(e)           Out-of-Band Emission Limits
Out of band emission power levels of the CRFMU in a frequency band should be attenuated, relative to the maximum power level of the CRFMU in the frequency band, by the corresponding minimum values:
·           870 - 890 MHz operating range – A minimum attenuation of 6dB, 25dB and 45dB at offsets greater than 1.6 MHz, 5 MHz and 40 MHz respectively from the operating range;
·           935 - 960 MHz operating range – A minimum attenuation of 6dB, 25dB and 45dB at offsets greater than 2 MHz, 6.25 MHz and 50 MHz respectively from the operating range;
·           1805 - 1880 MHz operating range – A minimum attenuation of 6dB, 25dB and 45dB at offsets greater than 6 MHz, 18.75 MHz and 50 MHz respectively from the operating range;
·           2110 - 2170 MHz operating range – A minimum attenuation of 6dB, 25dB and 45dB at offsets greater than 4.8 MHz, 15 MHz and 120 MHz respectively from the operating range.
(f)           Antenna
Only radiating cable type antennas should be used with the BTS and CRFMU to transmit and receive signals to and from the onboard mobile devices.  At a range of 2m, this antenna should have a coupling loss of at least 69dB within the frequency range 1805 - 1880 MHz, and at least 66dB within the frequency ranges 870 - 960 MHz and 2110 - 2170 MHz.
5.3           Additional Recommended MCA Conditions
 
It is further recommended that operators of MCA systems in spectrum licensed bands adhere to those conditions regarding:
·            the operation of an MCA system whilst an aircraft is on the ground; and
·           the compliance of an MCA system installation with the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998,
as specified for PMTS Class C stations in the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (PTS Licence) Determination 1997.
It is noted that the use of an MCA system is dependent on certified installation on a particular aircraft type to verify that the MCA system does not cause interference to aircraft avionics followed by approval by the national aviation safety authority.