Questions and answers regarding the draft Documentation of the planned auction procedure to be announced for the entitlements to the radio spectrum use of the 32 GHz frequency band

Published: 1 December 2022

Pursuant to Paragraph (6) of Section 40/A of Act C of 2003 on Electronic Communications (hereinafter referred to as: the “Electronic Communications Act”), this document contains the questions received in writing for the consultation held on 22 November 2022, and the questions raised orally at the consultation regarding the draft documentation (hereinafter referred to as: the “Draft Documentation”) of the auction to be announced by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (hereinafter referred to as the: “Auctioneer”) for the “entitlements to radio spectrum use in the 32 GHz frequency band”, as well as the answers given by the Auctioneer to the questions.

The answers published by the Auctioneer only serve informational purposes and, contrary to the documentation, have no legal effect or legal binding force with regard to any individual administrative case or in terms of the regulatory decisions.
The questions are published by the Auctioneer without indicating the name of the entities or persons that asked the question.

I. Written question received for the Consultation and the answer provided

Question I.1

In the absence of guard bands, coordination between operators is required for connections planned at the edge of user blocks. The regulation of the coordination task is not included in the Draft Documentation. In the event coordination is required, how does the authority propose the implementation of the coordination?

The answer to the question

The Draft Documentation does not impose any obligation of coordination between the entitlement holders of user blocks. Sections 2.1 and 2.2 of Annex 1 of the Draft Documentation define the rules for the coexistence of user blocks in accordance with the provisions of NMHH Decree no. 7/2015 (XI. 13.) on the National Frequency Allocation and the Rules for the Use of Frequency Bands (hereinafter referred to as: NFFF). Section 2.13.9 of Annex 3 of the NFFF sets out these rules as follows:

“ The rules on the separation bands between the individual user blocks (in particular their necessity, extent, possibility of shared use) and on the avoidance and management of in-terference between the user blocks nearest in terms of frequency shall be set out in the docu-mentation of the competitive procedure. In the absence of mutual agreement, the holders of the entitlement to radio spectrum use of the user blocks nearest in terms of frequency cannot raise objection to interference up to a maximum of 2 dB fade margin decrease at the receivers of the systems. Deviation from this rule may be made by mutual agreement."

According to Section 2.1 of the Draft Documentation, entitlement holders of user blocks shall be obliged to use a device of the equipment class defined in ETSI EN 302 217-2, where the required spectrum mask minimises the possibility of adjacent block interference as far as possible. If there is interference due to the specificities of the installation, mutual cooperation shall be in the common interest of both entitlement holders; the Draft Documentation does not specify how cooperation and “coordination” within the framework of cooperation should take place. There are a number of technical, legal and operational solutions for the elimination of interference, so the relevant provision of the Draft Documentation is drafted in such a way as to provide sufficient flexibility to the entitlement holders to solve any problems.

II. Oral questions asked during the Consultation and the an-swers provided

Question II.1

What happens if the 24 blocks currently offered are not awarded in full? Will the remaining blocks be available later in case of a later demand and under what conditions will they be made available?

The answer to the question

The Auctioneer shall not form guard bands from the blocks that are not awarded, but the authority shall manage them in a responsible manner – by exercising its ownership rights over the radio frequencies. If there is well-founded market demand in the frequency band in the future, the Auctioneer will examine the demand and, if the conditions set out in the applicable legislation are met, the remaining part of the frequency band may be awarded, with the aim of ensuring the continued use of the user blocks.

Question II.2

If not all blocks are awarded, what will be the NMHH's policy? Should as many frequencies as possible be left for later awarding or will guard blocks be created between the users in this case?

The answer to the question

From a spectrum management perspective, the fundamental objective is to make as much frequency bandwidth available to radio spectrum users as possible. Based on the technical specifications, point-to-point micro-wave links can be operated in the 32 GHz frequency band even without guard bands, since the individual links are not only adjacent to each other within the frequency, but are also largely separated from each other geographically, therefore with careful planning and coordination, the cases where these links cause interference to each other can be avoided. In view of this, no guard bands will be established in the 32 GHz frequency band.