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450-470 MHz band alignment

3.1.5Alignment process management

Implementation will be carefully controlled and co-ordinated by RA. This will enable RA and industry to plan the alignment’s implementation on an integrated rollout plan, removing uncertainty concerning the future of the band. RA has developed technical tools to aid this process.

An RA-managed process will assist the early introduction of digital technology in a structured manner.

Implementation will be co-ordinated so that assignments change with reference to each other; this will make the process easier, especially for those sharing sites or within interference range of other sites.

RA proposes to reduce the band alignment’s operational impact and minimise disruption by working to an implementation plan. This will involve selectively closing the band to new assignments and completing the alignment process over the shortest possible timescale. RA will notify existing licensees of their new assignments as soon as possible (estimated to be from summer 2003).

3.1.6Potential benefits of harmonised spectrum

RA has for a number of years stated its strategic intention, through the consultative process, to align the band. Some organisations have already planned accordingly. Subject to consultation and whatever general arrangements apply at the time, spectrum trading could provide some scope for licensees to sell their licences to others. It is possible that online Internet assignments could be made in CEPT-aligned spectrum and sold by their licensees to others.

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