JRC Publications

This is a list of the latest JRC Public Documents.

ComReg Further Consultation on the Release of the 410 – 415.5 / 420 – 425.5 MHz Sub-band

JRC supports the actions of the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) for the proposed release of the radio spectrum noted and in particular the recommendation to assign 2 x 3 MHz of the band on a service specific basis to enable ‘Smart Grid’ activities in Ireland.
JRC encourages ComReg to adopt an open approach to the operating mode that can be used and in so doing permit both TDD and FDD to be deployed in the band and in so doing allow the entity that wins the spectrum to deploy it in whichever mode best serves their operational requirements.
The roll-out obligations proposed for the Part A lot require further consideration as they appear to be reflective of a typical mobile network roll-out where coverage drives revenue. The drivers behind the deployment of Smart Grid capability will be to establish enhanced asset utilisation, minimise customer outages, allow distributed generation to be connected quicker and increase availability.

ENA Future Worlds Consultation - JRC Response

JRC welcomes the emphasis on Communications Systems Capability as a ‘Key Enabler’ for the ‘Future Worlds.’ It is worth noting that a key input on which operational telecommunications systems depend is radio spectrum. To this end and as part of the ‘Future Worlds’ analysis we encourage ENA and Government to explore the Operational Telecommunications (OT) needs of the Industry and in so doing seek to understand how to best serve these needs through access to both fixed and wireless networks.
There is likely to be a tension between the Economic, Commercial and Financial case. Perhaps the Financial Case could be considered sub-ordinate to the Economic and Commercial cases, since it is likely that Funding issues will be addressed for those Future Worlds that satisfy both the Economic and Commercial criteria.

Ofcom WRC 2019 Preparations - JRC Response

The JRC requests that the UK 26 GHz position be revised to align with the RSPG opinion (RSPG18-005 FINAL).
M2M and IoT appear to have become generic terms for most types of data transmission systems. The term Resilient Machine to Machine (RM2M) is becoming increasingly used to distinguish when an M2M system includes the necessary enhanced resilience.
JRC is concerned that, without sufficient restrictions, non-GSO systems operating within the 460 to 470 MHz band could cause harmful interference to the UK's electricity and gas grid monitoring and control systems.
JRC proposes the introduction of 'Utility Operations' as an ITU defined service in the same way as Public Safety and Disaster Relief (PPDR) and Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) are identified as distinct services requiring special recognition.

JRC response to ComReg proposed Strategy for Managing the Radio Spectrum - 2019 to 2021

It is important that ComReg does not overlook the importance of spectrum access for uses other than mobile data access. To this end we are encouraged by the initiative to enable access to the spectrum in the range 410-415.5 & 420-425.5 MHz which has the potential to support ‘Smart Grid’ developments in Ireland and be critical to helping the Irish Government deliver upon key environmental targets agreed with the International Community.

Proposed Multi Band Spectrum Award (ComReg Consultation - Ref 18/60)

JRC supports the actions of the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) for the proposed release of the radio spectrum noted and the establishment of a combined award of the bands identified to ensure that complementary bands are made available at the same time.
JRC supports ComReg’s proposal to exclude the following frequencies from the multi-band award process;
• 700 MHz Duplex Gap & Guard Band;
• 1.4 GHz Band, both Centre and Extension Bands; and
• 26 GHz Band.
The potential characteristics of use of these bands are different to those considered relevant to the multi-band award and therefore should be treated separately.

Ofcom Consultation: Proposed Guidance on protecting access to emergency organisations when there is a power cut

The four principles proposed in the consultation appear wise and well founded. However, there appear to be a number of significant assumptions in the consultation without the evidential basis to support the position being adopted. These include:
• The assumption that mobile phone networks will provide service during power cuts.
• The one hour minimum power backup duration seems sensible given the Ofgem data that 67% of power outages are restored within 1 hour.
• The assertion that most calls to the emergency services would occur shortly after the initial power outages has no evidential basis.
• Paragraph 3.10 describes a situation where some 'households have a history of long-duration power outages'. It is incumbent on the electricity network provider to remedy known situations.
• The increasing use of fempto cells to provide domestic mobile coverage, back-hauled on broadband, will not work if a power cut is not addressed.

JRC Response to Ofcom Draft Ofcom Annual Plan 2018/19

As critical systems users, the Joint Radio Company (JRC) welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation on behalf of the electricity and gas utility operators. JRC highlights that communication networks are dependent on access to resilient and robust electricity supplies. Also, with the evolving Smart Grid, that the existing intelligent electricity monitoring and control systems are being expanded to the extremes of the electricity network. This expansion in the operational communications needs of the energy utilities will require access to additional spectrum. This developing need is not recognised within the Ofcom Annual Plan 2018/19 and as such we encourage Ofcom to establish a specific work item to address this need.
JRC appreciates the essential work of the Ofcom Field Teams and Spectrum Licensing Teams to support the day-to-day operational telecoms needs of the energy networks.

JRC response to the DCMS Call for Views: 5G Trials and Testbeds Programme

The Joint Radio Company (JRC) welcomes the opportunity to respond to this call for views and in particular we support the approach from Government to provide funding support to 5G developments to enable future UK competitiveness.
In terms of the three use cases to be explored we endorse the observation that Massive Machine-Type Communications will be directly relevant to the ‘Energy’ sector in the future and see merit in linking this initiative to the Energy Network’s Association Open Networks Project which is seeking to establish sophisticated approaches to electricity Demand Management. In addition, when considering Ultra-Reliable, Low Latency Communications URLLC this also has a direct relevance to the Energy Supply Sector. The energy supply sector currently utilises this capability on a limited scale to control power supplies but in future there will be enhanced need for this capability at all levels of the energy network and as such the amount of active network components needing this type of critical communications capability will likely increase by two orders of magnitude. Furthermore, a key component of enabling URLLC type systems is access to resilient and robust energy supplies and / or having back-up energy present locally. Hence there is a direct relationship between the energy supply industry and future URLLC type solutions from both the Demand and Supply perspectives and we are keen to work with DCMS to establish this aspect as part of future initiatives.
Finally, it is worth noting the emphasis placed by Government on Mobile when describing the 5G initiative and we encourage Government not to overlook the potential for the 5G technology to be deployed in a Fixed Wireless Access context and that this approach should also be considered within the 5G Pilots.

JRC Response to DCMS Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review: Call for Evidence

The Joint Radio Company (JRC) welcomes the opportunity to respond to this call for views and in particular we support the approach from Government to consider alternative market frameworks when seeking to establish the market for ‘future new digital infrastructure.’ Moreover, future Industrial Developments will be predicated on the establishment of next generation digital communications infrastructure that will enable initiatives such as ‘Smart Grid.’ Noting that ‘Smart Grid’ is central to establishing the UK’s ‘Low Carbon Economy’ then we encourage DCMS to ensure alignment between the Policy framework designed to facilitate the new digital communications infrastructure and broader Policy interventions across Government.
In addition, we see merit in considering the role that Industry Verticals, e.g. Energy, Automotive, Health and Care might have when establishing the market framework for ‘new digital infrastructure.’ Moreover, Industry Verticals may facilitate reach and capacity on a truly national basis that has to date not been economically rationale for existing licensed operators.
Finally, we encourage DCMS and Government more broadly to note that the availability of UK Communication Networks is dependent on access to resilient and robust electricity supplies which are subsequently predicated on secure access to interference free wireless-based control systems. To this end, where spectrum access is a key component of enabling Critical Infrastructure such as Energy Networks then this aspect should be captured in DCMS’s ongoing oversight of Critical Communications Infrastructure.

Response to the Ofcom Fixed Wireless Spectrum Strategy

JRC welcomes Ofcom’s understanding that ‘Energy distribution along with all the necessary communications and network management, monitoring and control functions all require high reliability communications infrastructures. A change to a more distributed model could result in additional requirements for fixed wireless links, which we [Ofcom] will monitor’.
JRC also welcomes Ofcom’s recognition that access to suitable spectrum enables ‘the safe and secure supply of water, electricity and gas in the UK’.
JRC highlights that a wide range of channel widths and data rates will continue to be required when the existing electricity grid monitoring and control systems, with their range of technologies, are expanded to the edges of the electricity Smart Grid network, e.g. with 100 times more locations being monitored.