Yesterday, DTG Testing ran the Receiver Parameters workshop on behalf of the UK Spectrum Policy Forum. The event aimed to explore how spectral efficiency of equipment can be improved, enabling more dense use of spectrum. The focus was on reviewing the Radio Equipment Directive (RED). One of the principle requirements of RED is that equipment uses spectrum efficiently and avoids causing interference. RED is often cited by Ofcom and other spectrum policy organisations as a means to ensuring spectrum co-existence and interference challenges will be mitigated. However, can it really be relied on to do this?
The workshop had a broad range of expert speakers who highlighted a number of issues with the RED in terms of its implementation, its prominence with manufacturers and retailers, and its enforcement.
Michael Derby, a regulatory expert from ACB spoke about the requirements for RED and why it was introduced and identified some common misconceptions as to what it means to manufacturers.
Martin Fenton from Ofcom highlighted that receiver spectrum efficiency is key to spectrum management policy but recognised that there are issues in the RED process of creating standards.
This was explained further by Brian Copsey, an independent standards expert who works closely with European standards organisations like ETSI and CENELEC. He explained that there is a contrast between the standards organisations who are creating technical requirements to demonstrate RED compliance, and the European Commission (EC) who are looking for standards to provide legal certainty of their performance and safety. These two priorities often conflict meaning standards get held up from being published by the EC, leaving manufacturers without any European-wide agreed way of demonstrating their product compliance.
Peter Sealy from CAI and Ian Brooker from Johnson Controls explained what this means to retailers and manufacturers and explained that RED has increased administration but has not succeeded in improving spectral efficiency of products. They see an uneven playing field where manufacturers who spend time and money on meeting RED requirements, are competing with those that do not and can sell their products at a lower price. Without enforcement or more importance being put on RED by retailers, it will be difficult for RED to improve spectral efficiency of products.
DTG Testing will be working with the UK SPF to raise these issues formally with Ofcom and DCMS and look to influence the RED process of producing standards.
This article was written on 5th July 2019.
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