Radiocommunications Agency seeks innovative frequency use with partners

Agentschap Telecom, the Dutch Authority for Digital Infrastructure, is starting a pilot in the 3.8-4.2 GHz frequency band with 'Dynamic Spectrum Management & Sharing' (DSMS). The DSMS concept allows users to share the same frequency band, but in a smarter way than regularly. The Agency will use the results in proposals for European regulations on efficient spectrum use.

The Dutch Authority is conducting the pilot with the Dutch Trade Association of Major Telecom Users (BTG), Schiphol Airport and satellite communications operator Speedcast in Biddinghuizen. Nokia and the Finnish research institute VTT are also involved. The pilot is commissioned by the department for Digital Economy of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Motivation pilot

Frequency spectrum is becoming increasingly important for connecting society. Agentschap Telecom took the initiative for the pilot after talks with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, various other ministries and parties from the aviation, shipping and port industry. The Dutch industry has a need for sufficient spectrum for its own private wireless networks. With the DSMS pilot the agency wants to explore new methods that can allow local private networks to exist in the 3.8-4.2 GHz band, without interference of the reception by satellite ground stations. With the test results, the agency aims to create possibilities for new methods in European regulation for frequency allocation.

DSMS pilot in short

Testing will take place with two users in the 3.8-4.2 GHz band: a local 5G network at Schiphol Airport and the satellite ground station in Biddinghuizen. Under certain atmospheric conditions, a local network can cause incidental interference on the reception of satellite signals even in case of low power from a large distance. Therefore, a large protection zone applies around satellite ground stations. With the DSMS pilot, the parties involved want to demonstrate that with new technology, such a large zone is not necessary.

A special 'sensing system' in Biddinghuizen will measure whether the local network at Schiphol is causing interference. The 'DSMS engine' being developed receives a message from the sensing system when this is the case. The local network at Schiphol then receives an instruction that automatically regulates its transmission power. Once this concept has demonstrated that coexistence is possible, it can also be incorporated into regulation. The first results of the pilot are expected by mid-2023. In the future, DSMS could be used more widely between multiple networks and in other frequency bands.