Technical Committee (TC) Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS) Activity Report 2020

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

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

The telecommunications industry faces a major challenge – a lack of spectrum to meet growing demand, particularly from the 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. Sharing will also play a key role in the further development of 5G. In ETSI our Technical Committee on RRS is responsible for the standardization of these systems, including reconfigurable equipment architecture and cognitive radio.

During the year TC RRS continued its active participation in the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) EC Expert Group that addresses implementation of RED Article 3(3)(i) and Article 4 in relation to a combination of hardware and software, as typically featured in many electronic devices currently on the market. Insights from the committee were offered to the consultancy organization assisting the EC in its impact assessment of these two articles.

Completing a series of Technical Specifications on evolved Licensed Shared Access (eLSA), we published the second part [TS 103 652-2] on system architecture and high-level procedures and finalized the third part [TS 103 652-3, subsequently published in 2021] on information elements and protocols for the interface between eLSA Controller (eLC) and eLSA Repository (eLR).

We revised our multi-part standard on Radio Equipment (RE) information models and protocols for generalized software reconfiguration architecture. These updates variously consider the generalized Multiradio Interface (gMURI) [EN 303 681-1]; Reconfigurable Radio Frequency Interface (gRRFI) [EN 303 681-2]; Unified Radio Application Interface (gURAI) [EN 303 681-3]; and Radio Programming Interface (gRPI) [EN 303 681-4].

These were accompanied by publication of corresponding Technical Specifications for RE information models and protocols [TS 103 681-1, TS 103 681-2, TS 103 681-3, TS 103 681-4]

We also revised our European Standards [EN 303 641, EN 303 648] on Radio Equipment (RE) reconfiguration architecture and reconfiguration requirements.

These deliverables extend the scope of previously available ENs (European Norms) for mobile devices to Radio Equipment in general.

Moving from today’s hardware design principles to software reconfiguration solutions will require an incremental approach suited to the requirements of 5G and subsequent systems – for example to enable automotive communication platforms to remain relevant over the lifetime of a vehicle. This approach was discussed in the September 2020 publication of ETSI White Paper #38, titled ‘Software Radio Reconfiguration: A Modular Software Reconfiguration Approach for Radio Equipment in General’.

Look out for in 2021 – TC RRS work in progress:

RRS 01

  • Revision to Technical Specification TS 103 655-1 on Radio Interface Engine (RIE); Part 1: Technical requirements
  • Revision to Technical Report TR 103 587: Feasibility study of Radio Interface Engine (RIE), with new use cases including location based enabling of the radio interface

RRS 02

  • TS on RRS definition of Radio Application Package (RAP): RAP is processed by services introduced by ETSI’s Radio Reconfiguration Framework for upload, installation and activation of software components

RRS 03

  • RRS 03 continues to be the focal point for ETSI’s interactions with the RED Expert Group of the European Commission. RRS 03 will interact further with all ETSI Technical Committees and Industry Specification Groups to inform and influence RED Expert Group discussions.