Technical Committee (TC) Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS) Activity Report 2021

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. The 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.

2021 saw the creation of a new RRS Working Group 1, representing the merger of the previous WG1 (system aspects and cognitive functionalities) and RRS WG2 (reconfigurable radio equipment architecture) groups.

During the year RRS 01 published the second part of its Technical Specification on the Radio Interface Engine (RIE), TS 103 655-2 that details RIE system architecture. Based on the existing TR 103 587 and adding new requirements related to location based enabling of the radio interface, this specification defines KPIs for acquisition and management of context information, as well as suitable device configuration in a heterogeneous radio environment.

Progress was made during the year on revisions to the existing RIE Feasibility Study [TR 103 587], adding new use cases including location based enabling of the radio interface.

Following publication of the system architecture in TS 103 655-2, work progressed on revision of technical requirements of the Radio Interface Engine (RIE) – as described in the existing TS 103 655-1 – to add requirements relating to location- based enabling of the radio interface.

RRS 01 also neared completion of a new Technical Specification defining a format for the Radio Application Package (RAP). This will be processed by the services introduced by RRS Radio Reconfiguration Framework for upload, installation, and activation of software components. Publication of this deliverable as a Technical Specification is anticipated early in 2022.

Work meanwhile continued on temporary spectrum access for local high-quality wireless networks in dedicated licensed and leasing scenarios, referred to as evolved Licensed Shared Access (eLSA).

The committee published – and subsequently revised – the third part of its Technical Specification on eLSA, developing information elements and protocols for this specific interface. TS 103 652-3 V1.1.2 considers information elements and protocols for the interface between eLSA Controller (eLC) and eLSA Repository (eLR). Publication and refinement of this third part finalizes the multipart deliverable that enables the automatic provision of local spectrum access rights.

In relation to regulatory matters, RRS WG3 deals with RRS Certification and Declaration of Conformity and Security, with main activity of the group being active participation in the EC group “Commission Expert Group on Radio Equipment” as the interface for all ETSI Technical Committees and Industry Specification Groups. In 2021 work on use cases defining the requirements related to the introduction of dynamic re-certification remained on hold, pending EC decisions on the delegated act(s) on Article 3(3)(i) and 4 of the RED that addresses compliance of the radio equipment in case of software reconfiguration.

See a full list of current TC RRS Work Items here.