Technical Committee (TC) Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS) Activity Report 2022

Acting Chairs: Markus Mueck, Intel Deutschland GmbH - Paul Bender, BNetzA

Responsible for the standardization of Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS), including reconfigurable equipment architecture, Software Defined Radio and Cognitive Radio.

The telecommunications industry faces a major challenge – a lack of spectrum to meet growing demand, particularly for Internet and mobile communications. However, a significant amount of spectrum is allocated exclusively to organizations that do not take full advantage of it. For example, much is used only across certain areas or at specific times.

Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS) are smart radio entities or functions that can react to their environment and/or have their radio parameters updated via software. This offers an opportunity to support the needs of our connected world – including the Internet of Things (IoT) – by sharing spectrum among multiple services and radio networks. Spectrum sharing will also play a key role in the further development of 5G, and subsequently 6G.

In ETSI our Technical Committee on RRS is responsible for the standardization of these systems, including reconfigurable equipment architecture and cognitive radio. Scope of the committee’s work encompasses Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Cognitive Radio (CR). TC RRS continuously develops technical standards to meet stakeholders’ needs, such as evolved Licenced Shared Access (eLSA), to enable technical interoperability as well as regulatory compliance in this scope.

The committee’s work in 2022 was marked by the publication of two deliverables produced by its RRS Working Group 1 (WG1).

The first is a revision to Part 1 of the Technical Specification on the Radio Interface Engine (RIE) [TS 103 655-1] that details RIE Technical Requirements. This updated version now includes a new Annex providing an instantiation of the requirements for location-based spectrum sharing.

The second is a new Technical Specification [TS 103 850] that defines the Radio Application Package (RAP). The RAP format defined will be processed by the services introduced by RRS Radio Reconfiguration Framework for upload, installation and activation of software components. This specification was developed in liaison with TC CYBER regarding security elements of the package.

Further progress was made during the year by WG1 on revisions to its existing RIE Feasibility Study [TR 103 587], adding new use cases including location based enabling of the RI. Publication is anticipated in early 2023.

WG1 also launched work early in 2022 on development of a new Technical Report, representing a feasibility study on existing spectrum sharing frameworks for temporary and flexible spectrum access. Leveraging ETSI’s regular interactions with the WInnForum (Wireless Innovation Forum) community, this new Technical Report evaluates existing dynamic spectrum access frameworks and their suitability for potential on-demand use cases. It also includes a gap analysis to identify further improvements in the definition of requirements, system architectures and functionalities for spectrum access.

Following renewal of ETSI’s MoU with the WInnForum in 2021, a series of workshops was held – including 7 Joint experts groups and 5 Joint workshops – offering the opportunity to identify and assess existing frameworks for dynamic spectrum sharing (such as LSA, eLSA and CBRS), and their suitability for different use cases.

In relation to regulatory matters, RRS Working Group 3 (WG3) deals with RRS Certification and Declaration of Conformity and Security. Main activity of the group is participation in the EC group ‘Commission Expert Group on Radio Equipment’, where it serves as the interface for all ETSI Technical Committees and Industry Specification Groups. In 2022 Work Items on use cases and requirements related to the introduction of dynamic re-certification of configurable equipment remained on hold, pending EC decisions on the delegated act(s) on Article 3(3)(i) and 4 of the RED. These cover compliance of radio equipment in case of software reconfiguration and could also support the future Cyber Resilience Act.

During 2022 TC RRS continued its participation in the RED EC Expert group, exchanging information with other ETSI bodies in view of the European Commission delegated acts concerning Radio Equipment Directive articles 3.3i and 4.

See the full list of TC RRS Work Items currently in development here.