Laws can be newly established or revised, only
when relevant decision is made in the parliament. Considering the structure of
the parliament, revision to one law can be made usually once a year at a
maximum. In contrast, for example, ministerial ordinances can be newly established
or revised, when relevant decision is made by a responsible minister(s). This
means that ministerial ordinances can be revised more quickly and flexibly.
Decision of the parliament is thought to be
more important than the one of a responsible minister. Therefore, important issues
in one law’s family are specified in law and minor issues are specified in its subordinate
rules. In this regard, understanding recent revisions to one law is equal to
understanding recent major revisions to a framework of the area, which readers
are interested in. (This does not mean that revisions to subordinate rules are
not important to readers.)
1) A new operation is added to the Center for Promoting Effective Utilization of Radio Spectrum
There is the Center for Promoting Effective Utilization of Radio Spectrum specified in Article 102-17 in the Radio Law. This center is entrusted to do some operations specified by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications. Currently, this center is Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB).
On December 17, 2019, FY2019 follow-up meeting of Growth Strategy Roundtable on Effective Utilization of Radio Spectrum, which is a study group in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), presented additional proposals. As one from these proposals, the FY2019 follow-up meeting has been proposing a new operation of realizing dynamic spectrum sharing to the center, and this revision was made based on this proposal.
2) More flexible recommendation to radio equipment non-compliant with technical regulations of the Radio Law can be issued
Following Article 102-11 in the Radio Law, the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications can issue a recommendation to manufacturers, importers or sellers of radio equipment non-compliant with technical regulations of the Radio Law.
As another from the additional proposals from the FY2019 follow-up meeting, this meeting has been proposing that the Minister can issue this recommendation more flexibly, and this revision was made based on this proposal.
3) Economical value of spectrum for providing mobile reception broadcasting service needs to be newly calculated
In the revision to the Radio Law, which was made last year, economical value of spectrum for providing mobile telecommunications service came to need to be calculated.
On January 30, 2020, Study group on utilization measures for broadcasting spectrum presented its principles on utilization measures for broadcasting spectrum. As one of these principles, the study group proposes that economical value of spectrum for providing mobile reception broadcasting service also needs to be calculated, and this revision was made on this proposal.
4) The deadline of subsidy from the spectrum user fee to reception equipment for satellite broadcasting service is extended
In the revision to the Radio Law, which was made in 2017, in terms of starting 4K/8K satellite broadcasting service, subsidy from the spectrum user fee to reception equipment for such satellite service was introduced.
The deadline of this subsidy had been set on March 31, 2020 in the 2017 revision, but this deadline was extended by 2 years by this revision.
This revision is composed of several issues, all of which are coming from the final report of Growth Strategy Roundtable on Effective Utilization of Radio Spectrum, which was disclosed on August 31, 2018. This roundtable is a study group in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). Many agendas of this roundtable are based on the 2nd recommendation about regulatory reform promotion by the Regulatory Reform Promotion Conference, which was disclosed on November 20, 2017.
This revision is categorized into the following topics:
1) Many issues related to the spectrum user fee regulation
- When one is deploying radio systems in
wider areas like a mobile career, spectrum user fee is calculated based on the bandwidth
assigned. Even when it is not using some of the bandwidth assigned, calculation
became based on all the assigned bandwidth.
- A new usage of spectrum user fee was added: administration, technology study, research and development of observing radio propagation and sending warning information of forecast and anomaly.
- Unit spectrum user fee applied to some
categories of radio systems were revised.
- Some categories that subsidy from the spectrum user fee is given are added.
- The frequency categories specified as
highly used in the spectrum user fee became the current two categories to the
three categories: 1) below 470 MHz, 2) 470 MHz to 3.6 GHz, and 3) 3.6 to 6 GHz.
- Currently spectrum user fee is not charged to radio stations established by organizations in the national government. When not utilizing radio spectrum efficiently, spectrum user fee becomes charged on such radio stations.
2) Economical value of spectrum for providing mobile telecommunications service needs to be newly calculated
When applying to win newly available spectrum, mobile careers need to provide a plan of how to deploy their services with the spectrum. In this plan, they need to describe the economical value of spectrum and the winner actually needs to pay this value to the MIC. The amount paid for this process must be used for promoting deployment of advanced information communications network using radio.
3) Non-certified radio equipment can be more flexibly operated experimentally
When one wants to establish an experimental radio station by using radio equipment not certified as compliant with the technical regulations in the Radio Law, if such radio equipment is following some international standards, he/she can submit a notice to the MIC and operate the experimental station for up to 180 days.
Code could not be used in communications by experimental radio station. This restriction is taken out.