Sunday, 10 January 2016

Looking back at 2015.

4 m consultation in Belgium:
Published on 12 December 2015 by Jean-Jacques ON7EQ
This to inform you that our national telecom authority (BIPT/IBPT) has launched on 4 December a public consulation regarding the possibility of expansion of our 4 m band (currenty 70.190 MHz- 70.4125 MHz) to 70,1125 MHz - 70,4125 MHz, all modes, and increase of power (25 W to 50 W), still on a secondary basis.
This in view of the fact that professional users are apparently no longer using this band segment.
As with previous similar public consultations, it can be expected that the band will be effectively be expanded within next weeks. A good thing - besides further widening the available segment for traffic - is that some planned beacon(s) could now be relocated as far as possible 'down the band' instead of somewhere in the upper segment.

Macedonia expands the 4 m allocation:
Published on 17 August 2015 by Dave EI3IO
I have received an email from the President of the IARU Member Society in Macedonia which states that the Macedonian administration (Agency for Electronnic Coommunication) has granted a request by the Radio Amateur Union of the Republic of Macedonia for further access to the 70 MHz band and has approved the following frequencies: 70.000 MHz, 70.075 MHz, 70.125 MHz an 70.275 MHz for Radio Amateur activities on a secondary basis .... date of issue 01.08.2015 and date of expiry 31.12.2016. It is not quite clear how wide these allocations are. However if we refer to the Macedonian National Plan on pages 136 - 138 you will find that the band comprises 12.5 kHz channels in accordance with CEPT Recommendation T/R 25-08.

Gibraltar issues CEPT on 4 m:
Published on 6 August 2015 by Jean-Jacques ON7EQ
I am pleased to announce that the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) has from 5 August 2015 allowed operation on 70 MHz in ZB2 on a reciprocal basis (CEPT) and issued the first license as such to undersigned. Before, operation for visiting HAMS was only possible on 6 m and 2 m, but thanks to the efforts of the Gibraltar Amateur Radio Society (GARS), the bands have been extended to include 4 m and 70 cm. Still, the application for a temporary reciprocal license must be completed - see GRA website for more info.

IARU 70 MHz initiative:
Published on 29 July 2015 by Bo OZ2M
Dave Court, EI3IO, and Member of the IARU Region 1 Executive Committee has written a 70 MHz initiative sent to all the member societies and their respective laison officers. It addressed the latest situation concerning the 4 m band, 69,9 MHZ to 70,5 MHz.

Germany back on 4 m:
Published on 29 April 2015 by Bo OZ2M
As of 29 April 2015 German hams can use, on a secondaty basis, the 4 m band again until end of 31 August 2015. The conditions are: 70,150 MHz bis 70,180 MHz, max 25 W ERP, max bandwidth 12 kHz, all modes and horizontal antennas.

Spain gets permanent allocation:
Published on 15 April 2015 by Bo OZ2M
Jose, EA7KW, writes: "The frequency band from 70.150 MHz to 70.200 MHz may be used by the amateur service on a secondary basis and the technical conditions set out in Annex I to Regulation use of public domain by amateurs , approved by Order IET / 1311/2013, 9 July." Furthermore is the allocation now permanent since 6 April 2015.

Ofcom permits up to 71,5 MHz:
Published on 3 April 2015 by Bo OZ2M
RSGB writes that Ofcom have agreed the use of 70.5 MHz to 71.5 MHz by radio amateurs for digital experimentation. Use will be permitted only via a Special Research Permit and further details of the application process will be published in due course.For information, the following conditions will apply:

Access to this part of the spectrum will be authorised under a Notice of Variation, time-limited to 12 months and available to Full Licence holders only.
Ofcom will retain the right to reallocate Amateur Radio spectrum at 70.5 – 71.5 MHz should there be a demand for this part of the spectrum from Business Radio and/or other or new services. In the event of this happening, Ofcom will not consult on this decision. However, Ofcom will provide Amateur Radio users with 12 months’ notice before such reassignment and this notice period will be publicised on the Ofcom website.
Amateur Radio use of this spectrum will be permitted on a non-protection, non-interference basis. Please note that if use is shown to cause interference, the spectrum will be removed with immediate effect
Permission will be subject to a geographical restriction and only granted for use in England, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Northern Ireland and Wales. (There is legacy use of the spectrum by the Scottish Government which precludes licensing for Amateur Radio)
Note that in a similar manner to 146-147 MHz, international coordination is likely to be required as use must be compliant with the level published in the Harmonised Calculation Method (HCM) Agreement of +6 dBuV/m.

Malta on 4 m:
Published on 16 February 2015 by Paul 9H1BT
The 70,0 MHz - 70,5 MHz band has been allocated to Amateur Radio use on secondary basis and included in the National Frequency Plan as published by the Mata Communications Authority (MCA) on 13 Feb 2015.
There are quite a few local stations interested in being active on 4 m.

Finland gets 300 kHz continuous allocation:
Published on 2 January 2015 by Bo OZ2M

Erik, OH2LAK, writes that the allocation in Finland now covers 70,0 MHz to 70,3 MHz continuously without any special permit but still as a secondary service.

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