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The conference programme will appear here shortly, please check back regularly for updates. If you are interested in speaking opportunities, please contact Kate Lymer at kate.lymer@forum-europe.com or on +44 (0) 2920 783 020.

 

Tuesday 19 June, 2018

Morning

09:00 – 10:00

The European Electronic Communications Code - implications for spectrum policy and next steps

09:00 – 09:20

Keynote Presentation

09:20 – 09:40

Keynote Presentation

09:40 – 10:00

Keynote Presentation

10:00 – 11:00

Panel Discussion: The European Electronic Communications Code - Key areas for spectrum policy and next steps

The European Commission’s directive for a new ‘European Electronic Communications Code’ has been going through the legislative processes in Brussels and is expected to be adopted around the time of this conference. With the aim of harmonising the regulation of electronic communications across the EU and shaping the future of connectivity across the region, the code has wide ranging implications for spectrum policy across the region. This session will look at what the new code is going to mean for the allocation and regulation of spectrum across Europe, at the major points to come out of the code and at the next steps in order to achieve its goal of delivering next-generation high capacity connectivity across Europe.

• Which aspects of the Commission’s original proposal remain in the final version, and what amendments have been seen?
• To what extent is the code likely to succeed on its objectives of encouraging innovation, investment and the overall evolution of the sector?
• How (if at all) is the code likely to affect the roles and overall influence of the European Commission, BEREC, RSPG and national regulators on spectrum policy in Europe?
• How can close cooperation be ensured between policymakers and industry representatives as the directive moves into the stage of implementation?
• How will the code help Europe achieve its goals and visions for 5G rollout, for example by encouraging a co-ordinated approach within the pioneer bands?
• What are the next steps now following the adoption of the directive? What is the likely timeframe ahead?

11:00 – 11:20

Morning Coffee and Refreshments

11:20 – 14:40

Session 2: Delivering the 5G eco-system

11:20 – 12:30

Session 2i: Achieving the densification of networks - Reducing the regulatory hurdles to the roll-out in urban areas

One of the major challenges when rolling out 5G is how to achieve the densification of networks that is necessary to deliver the required high system capacity and per-user data rates in urban areas. Small cells will play a big part in delivering this and the Communications Code is likely to include an implementing measure designed to reduce the regulatory burden associated with their deployment. This session will look at what impact this can have and how it can help to smooth the roll-out of 5G networks in urban areas. It will also look more generally at the other technologies and spectrum bands that are going to play a part in delivering an urban 5G eco-system and how a flexible regulatory environment can be achieved that encourages innovation and investment.

• What are the major design challenges that are faced when building a 5G network in urban areas and how can these be overcome?
• What will be the best way to deliver the densification of networks that will be necessary to provide the required network connectivity in urban areas and inside large buildings?
• How important will Small Cells be in providing this densification and what other technologies and bandwidths will also play a part?
• What classifies as a Small Cell in the context of the Communications Code? Should the definition be to do with power limit, size or other characteristics?
• What issues are faced when considering the siting, deployment and mounting of small cells and what measures are being proposed to reduce any regulatory burden on these?
• What is the current situation regarding siting policies in different countries around Europe, and licence fees for small cells and base stations? How can a more coordinated and harmonised approach to this be delivered?

Afternoon

12:30 – 13:30

Lunch

13:30 – 14:40

Session 2ii: The role of satellite and mobile in delivering the 5G eco-system - collaboration or competition?

Traditionally in the spectrum world, the mobile and satellite communities have been in competition when it comes to access to spectrum bands. Whilst this is still the case in some areas, examples of the satellite, mobile and fixed terrestrial communities working together to deliver 5G solutions are increasingly being seen. This session will look at this collaboration between the sectors and at what potential there is to increase this going forward. Keeping in mind the key long-term spectrum requirements of both sectors, it will look at how stakeholders can come together to foster an environment of collaboration not competition, and work together to deliver shared 5G solutions for the benefit of all.

• Where does satellite fit within the 5G ecosystem, particularly when considering the delivery of services to rural areas?
• What benefits can satellites offer with regards to backhaul and traffic offloading solutions, and also with direct services to users and providing ubiquitous coverage?
• What examples have been seen of collaboration between satellite and mobile service providers to deliver 5G services and solutions, and what potential is there for this to increase in the future?
• How best can stakeholders work together to develop novel business models and economically viable operational collaborations that integrate satellite and terrestrial stakeholders in a win-win situation?
• How can the long-term spectrum needs of both sectors be best met in a sustainable, efficient and collaborative way?

14:40 – 15:50

Session 3: Reconfiguration of spectrum services in the 3.5GHz C-Band

The 3.4-3.8GHz band is expected to be a key part of the future solution to deliver capacity for mobile broadband. Around Europe, regulators are looking at the best solution to reconfigure the band in order to avoid fragmentation and deliver the large contiguous blocks that are required for 5G services. This session will look at the challenges that are faced when doing this, and at what needs to be done to ultimately deliver a band-plan that both offers optimal use for 5G and ensures that the requirements of both incumbent and new users in the band can be met in the most efficient way.

• What approaches to the reconfiguration of the 3.4-3.8GHz band are being seen in member states around Europe?
• What steps can/should regulators take to support realignment of the bands for optimal 5G use and what challenges are faced when looking to provide the large contiguous blocks of spectrum in the band that are ideally required?
• What role can technologies such as carrier aggregation play in helping to provide a solution?
• How can it be ensured that the rights of satellite users and other incumbents in the band are protected?

15:50 – 16:10

Afternoon Coffee and Refreshments

16:10 – 17:30

Session 4: Breakout sessions

Breakout 1: Developing an efficient spectrum policy for the benefit of all users in the 870-876 MHz and 915-921 MHZbands
There is a considerable amount of discussion currently taking place in Europe around the future of the 870-876 MHz and 915-921 MHz bands. The bands are being explored as part of a possible development plan for the IoT, with the 915-921MHz band in particular being seen by many as offering the best potential for providing a globally harmonised IoT band. There is also interest in the band, however, from the railway sector, with part of the band having been earmarked in some countries to meet the needs of the railway sector and the GSM-R system (Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway). Finally, it is also used in some countries by military users. This session will look at the future use of the bands and the users in it.

With the railway sector currently working on setting up a future communications system to replace the current 2G-based GSM-R system, it will look more generally at the future of railway communication and the importance of these bands as part of this. It will also examine the potential of the bands as providing a global IoT band and, more generally, at the best way forward to ensure the most efficient way to use spectrum and one that takes into account the needs of both existing and potential new users.

• What other users are currently active in these bands and what is the added value of the availability of this band for each of these?
• To what extent does the 915-921MHz band offer the potential for providing a globally harmonised IoT band?
• With the lifespan of GSM-R (the current system for railway communication) coming to an end, what is the future of railway communications? What are the spectrum requirements likely to be and how will the 870-876 MHz and 915-921MHz band fit with this?
• To what extent could the use of both short range devices and railway applications be accommodated, and how could this be achieved?
• How important is a co-ordinated and harmonised approach in the bands in order to avoid cross-border interference?
• What is the best way forward for these bands to ensure the most efficient way to use spectrum and one that takes into account the needs of both existing and potential new users?
Breakout 2: Spectrum Auctions
2018 has brought with it a huge wave of 5G auctions taking place in countries across Europe, with a number of different formats, plans and structures being seen. Some countries are looking at bringing in relatively complex approaches, designed to extend rural coverage and achieve other key objectives, whilst others are going down a much more simple path and looking to reduce complexity. In addition, some auctions are involving licences that are awarded on a regional rather than national level, which brings in a whole new level of complexity. This session will look at the different approaches that are being seen and at the best way forward to deliver an auction that realises the ambition and potential of 5G.

• What auctions have taken place already this year or are going to be taking place over the next few months and what approaches have been seen?
• What are the relative pros and cons of taking the path of a more complex or less complex auction approach?
• What role can regulatory tools such as set-asides and caps play in delivering a successful auction and achieving key objectives?
• What issues arise when spectrum licences are offered on a regional basis?
• When allocating licences on both a national and regional basis, how can an auction be designed with a format to take into account the needs of all bidders, large and small?

Wednesday 20 June, 2018

Morning

09:00 – 11:55

Session 5: Preparing for WRC-19 in Europe and other regions around the World

Preparation for WRC-19 is well underway in Europe and all around the world. This session will provide the opportunity to hear from key representatives from ITU and from different regional bodies on the work that is being done in this area. Focus will then switch to Europe and the preparations here, followed by an interactive room-wide discussion focussing on the best way forward to ensure a co-ordinated approach in the build-up to WRC, and one that works for the benefits of stakeholders and citizens everywhere.

09:00 – 10:10

Session 5i: Regional Preparations for WRC-19 outside of Europe

10:10 – 10:30

Morning Coffee and Refreshments

10:30 – 11:55

Session 5ii: Ensuring the best result at WRC- 19 for all users in Europe

Following the last session, which heard from stakeholders all around the world on their preparation for WRC, this session now brings the focus back to Europe. Through interactive discussion, including the use of interactive voting pads, the session will look at the hopes and wishes that different stakeholder groups have for WRC-19. It will examine what needs to be done to ensure common positions in Europe that are for the benefit of stakeholders and citizens everywhere and at how it can be ensured that the European delegation has a strong and influential voice during the discussions at the conference. 

• What are the key areas for discussion in the European region for the different stakeholders, and what challenges and opportunities are expected to emerge? 
• Where are there early signs of agreement; where is there disagreement (both between countries within Europe and also inter-regionally between CEPT and other regional bodies around the world)? 
• How can the European delegation ensure that it maintains the strong and influential voice that it has during previous WRC meetings? 

11:55 – 12:40

Fireside Chat - Optimising public sector spectrum use in Europe

The growth of automation and connected robots, sensors and other systems in the manufacturing and industrial sectors has led to a need for ultra reliable ‘industrial’ grade internet. This session will look at the best way to deliver this, at the mix of licenced, unlicensed and shared spectrum that will be required; and at the types of network that should be deployed and by whom.

• How can the industry grade connectivity and ‘ultra reliability’ required by the ‘future factories’ of tomorrow best be delivered? What mix of licenced, unlicensed and shared spectrum will be required?
• Can traditional mobile operators provide all these connectivity requirements or is there an argument to allow industry stakeholders to build/own/operate their own locally self-controlled wireless networks?
• What mix of 4G, 5G, WiFi, LPWAN technologies and other solutions will provide a solution?

Afternoon

12:40 – 13:40

Lunch

13:40 – 14:45

Session 6: Mapping the long-term future of the UHF band

Agenda item 10 at WRC-19, where delegates will discuss the agenda for WRC-23, includes a proposal to review the spectrum use and requirements of existing services in the 470 – 960 MHz section of the UHF band in region 1. Against this backdrop and in preparation for this, discussions have started in earnest about the long-term future of the band. DigitalUK have put forward a proposal that they say will increase the efficiency of mobile use in the band using TDD transmission schemes, and a number of others have now responded to this – sometimes sceptically and sometimes in agreement - but almost always with the agreement that there is a need for a more detailed discussion on the UHF band. This session will provide the opportunity to do this. It will look at the future of mobile, broadcast and other users in the band, and more generally at future plans in both the 700MHz and sub-700MHz sections (with sub-700 MHz remaining available for broadcasting in Europe until at least 2030). It will look generally at the long-term future of the band and at what needs to be done to ensure the most efficient use and one that supports all users.

• To what extent are the proposals that have been put forward to reshape the 694-960 MHz band practical, and how realistic are the efficiency gains that are being forecast?
• What challenges would a top-down rearrangement like the one proposed create, and how can it be ensured that any proposal for the band balances out efficiency with affordability?
• What other options exist to increase the efficiency of spectrum use in the band?
• What role will UHF spectrum likely play in the future spectrum portfolio of mobile operators, and with the increasing shift towards 5G services, how will it fit with the demand for higher frequency spectrum (for example 3.4 – 3.8GHz and millimetre bands)?
• To what extent is Europe likely to follow the US approach of allocating the 600MHz band to mobile at some point in the future?
• What work needs to be done in preparation for the UHF band discussions at WRC-23?
• What will the likely future shape of the band be in 2030 and beyond?

14:45 – 15:00

Afternoon Coffee and Refreshments

15:00 – 16:45

Session 7: Spectrum sharing - an update on new technologies, techniques and progress

Spectrum sharing remains a key objective for regulators and stakeholders around the world to increase spectrum efficiency across a wide range of different bands. This session will look at some of the latest proposals, techniques and technologies that are being put forward to facilitate spectrum sharing in different bands. With a focus on Europe, but also looking at some of the work that is happening across the Atlantic in the US, it will provide an update on the progress that is being seen and on the roadmap ahead.

Logistics

When

Tue 19 June, 2018 09.00 to
Wed 20 June, 2018 18.00

CET

 

Where

MCE Conference and Business Centre

Rue de l'Aqueduc 118,
1050 Ixelles,
Belgium

Tel: +32 (0) 2 543 21 40

info@mceconferencecentre.eu

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