Guidelines for Standard Terms of Reference for Spectrum Management Projects.

Guidelines for standard Terms of Reference for spectrum management projects.

Introduction: Both older and recently established spectrum management organizations often require assistance from experts on spectrum management consulting projects.  These Guidelines for Terms of Reference (TOR) for spectrum management projects are intended to save spectrum managers preparation effort and assure project cost containment, as well as contribute to consistent approaches and better quality outcomes. TORs on the improvement of spectrum management in a particular country, or technical assistance, training, and other needs are often written anew for each project. While the wholesale adoption of TORs from one country to another is unlikely to be adequate in all cases, the template provided here, with standardized criteria of broad applicability within categories of country situations, offers a common starting point.

Typically, priorities for spectrum management consulting assistance and/or technical advice fall into two categories: policy and planning and technical assistance. Spectrum Policy and Planning consulting assistance includes the following areas and topics:

  • Development of spectrum management regulations;
  • Advice on conduct and preparation for international and regional fora such as WARC, study groups and technical panels;
  • Analysis and development of spectrum planning capabilities centered on short-term and medium term requirements including development of policies and practices for data collection such as consultation involving interaction with stakeholders: government users, industry players;
  • Advice and assistance in developing policies and procedures related to spectrum allocations, assignment including administrative and market based methods such as auctions, authorization and licensing including more novel approaches such spectrum trading, unlicensed and exempt spectrum authorizations;
  • Advice and assistance in developing policies and procedures for spectrum revenues, fees, and analysis and methods for establishing relevant spectrum pricing;
  • Spectrum valuations and development of economic models for use in applying Administered Incentive Prices;
  • Advising on spectrum refarming and other methods to realign spectrum users and uses;
  • Advice on developing market-based assignment methods including auction design and related licenses;
  • Advice and assistance in developing the spectrum management organization, functions and technical capacity through recruiting, training and development;
  • Advice and assistance in developing key items needed by the spectrum management organization for planning and administration of activities: budgets, an operating plan, procedural manuals.

Technical assistance often involving radio engineering expertise on spectrum engineering and monitoring and compliance issues includes the following areas and topics:

  • Technical advice and assistance in analyzing and developing frequency band usage forecasts and plans, sub-allocation and channeling plans optimizing spectrum availability and re-use of frequencies for priority services like mobile radio, broad band wireless services, cellular services and radio and television broadcast;
  • Guidance on development and selection of suitable radio systems specifications and standards, technical standards for equipment and devices including radio and other devices;
  • Analysis of radio emissions and potential interference issues in support of administrative assignments;
  • Spectrum Audits and other technical analyses of radio frequency usage to determine spectrum occupancy and utilization in support of planning, assignment and authorization activities;
  • Interference problem identification and resolution;
  • Development of specifications and bidding documents for spectrum management data and administrative systems, technical analysis software and tools, monitoring and direction-finding equipment;
  • Advice on processes for equipment type approval including development of a framework for mutual recognition of equipment type specification standards. 

These areas serve as background to developing a standard Terms of Reference to be used in soliciting requests for proposals or statements of qualification from spectrum management consultants and experts.

A checklist of features to be considered when tailoring the base model to specific country situations has been suggested.

Related Reference Document: Sample Terms of Reference and Statements of Work for Spectrum Management Consulting Projects

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