PTA Drafts Radio Transmission Devices Regulatory Framework

In order to offer the telecoms sector with a flexible regulatory environment and a range of frequencies available for SSR and UWB bands across Pakistan, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has developed a regulatory framework for the Short Range Radio Communication Devices (SRD) business.

The framework covers the technical and standard specifications, kinds of applications authorised and other operating constraints.

Reviews are periodic and new frequency bands may be open for specialised and non-specific SRDs and UWB rules and standards.

'SRD' is a word used for short distance and low power radio transmitters. In general, these devices have limited potential for interference with other radio equipment and, if operating under authorised technical standards, are often free from licencing.

Remote control, RFID, wireless mics, health monitoring devices and the Wireless LAN are all areas where SRDs are being employed.

Manufacturers are increasingly striving to unify frequency ranges and technical standards through the ITU and other standardisation authorities. Bluetooth, ZigBee and Wi-Fi (802.11) are examples of widely used worldwide standards, and the cost savings in hardware have dropped.

UWB is operating over a broad frequency spectrum with signals streaming (above 500 MHz). Typically low power UWB broadcasts operate in frequency bands which are already designated for other applications, including only permitted commercial bands.

The proposed regulatory framework will be excluded from the licence, kind of permission necessary to comply with defined restrictions, for SRD and UWB short-range radio communication equipment.

No terminal equipment may be connected directly or indirectly to a public-switched network under the Telecommunications Act 1996 (Section 29), unless it has been type-approved by the PTAs.

Type of permission issued by PTA means the authorisation for broad sale of certain telecommunications equipment for connection with a particular public telecommunications network.

The common allotment of spectrum for individual applications, general operational requirements and specific SRDs is specified.

Nevertheless, the applicant will also comply with the Type Approval rules for the initiation/processing and other general criteria and requirements.

In line with the ITU-R management recommendations and/or other relevant international standards, all SRD equipment, including UWB equipment, is approved by the kind of PTA (FCC-eCFR, EN standards, IEC, EMC, etc.)

In countries other than Pakistan the authorised laboratories may be located. The PTA may recognise test results from the world-renowned laboratories, properly certified by its accreditation body in the country of origin, subject to type approval based on international standards and testing by one of the recognised laboratory sets.

The SRDs are only permitted on a secondary basis, without interference, and without protection. vi. The functioning of SRD will not interfere and may tolerate any interference produced by other radiocommunication services, electrical or electronic equipment.

No external or accessibility controls will be built for the SRDs, allowing the operation to be adjusted in a way which is not compatible with the specified standards.

When any primary service is detected or notified of SRD interferes with it, the device activity must be promptly terminated.

The protection of primary services functioning in the neighbouring frequency bands is guaranteed while granting a NOC for SRDs operating on a frequency band with an asterisk.

In addition, for that reason, if power standards exceed limitations, such applications may be sent to the FAB for assessment and type-approved devices may be authorised by the FAB.

UWB applications, such as GPR and WPR radars, radio monitoring devices, and medical screens, intended only for specific organisations and able to cause harmful interference in the case of broad deployments are considered on a case-by-case basis. UWB applications are also considered on a case-by-case basis.

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