"For members only"

Notes of Meeting with Amateur Radio Societies

Held on 28 February 2001 at OFTA's Conference Room


Present: Mr. T.Y. Chan OFTA (Chairman)
  Mr. Stephen Tse HARTS
  Mr. Logan Chan HARDXA
  Mr. Charlie Ho HARDXA
  Mr. Nagata Tsugio JAROC
  Mr. Mitsui Tadakazu JAROC
  Mr. Ho Wing-leung HKARA
  Mr. Hung Siu-hung HKARA
  Mr. W.H. Chiu CARSC
  Mr. W.P. Tang CARSC
  Mr. C.K. Cheng OFTA
  Mr. Y. C. Leung OFTA
  Mr. K.F. Kwan OFTA
  Mr. L.L. Cheong OFTA
  Mr. H.C. Chan OFTA
  Mr. C.S. Wong OFTA (Secretary)



Confirmation of Notes of Last Meeting  

1.1 The notes of the meeting on 11 October 2000 were confirmed without amendment.


Allocation of 1.2, 2.4, 3.4GHz and 160-190kHz bands  

2.1 Mr. C.K. Cheng briefed the members about the spectrum constraints below 3GHz. He said that OFTA would not consider the proposed allocation to amateur in the 1.2GHz and 2.4GHz bands as ITU has recommended that future mobile services would work below 3GHz and  there were also existing services such as radars and low power devices currently assigned to work in these bands. The proposed application for amateur would causes harmful interference to the existing services. However, as mentioned in the "Response to Request of Amateur Societies" issued by OFTA to the amateur societies on 12 January 2001, OFTA would consider allocating the specific frequencies in the 3.4GHz band where amateur satellite services were available in Hong Kong. The societies were requested to provide information on the specific frequency slots required to OFTA for study.  
2.2 Mr. Cheng further mentioned that the band 160-190kHz was not allocated to amateur in Region 3 and that there was primary allocation for radionavigation service in some Region 3 countries such as Japan.  According to the Radio Regulations, OFTA should protect the primary services.

2.3 The Chairman concluded that, due to the rapid growth of needs for spectrum usage by the telecommunications industries, OFTA has to balance the requirements from different spectrum users and services. OFTA did consider the amateur societies’ request seriously, but have difficulties in allocating these bands to amateurs.  


Use of 430-440MHz by amateur for portable and mobile services  

3.1 The Chairman pointed out that OFTA’s view had already been given in the "Response to the Requests of Amateur Societies" issued by OFTA to the amateur societies on 12 January 2001.   
3.2 Mr. C.K. Cheng said that OFTA would meet the Radio Regulatory Department of the Ministry of Information Industry of China to discuss the use of radio frequencies by amateur in the Mainland and HKSAR. The RRD is responsible for the national frequency allocation in China.  
3.3 Mr. Tse of HARTS expressed his concerns and said that he would contact the officials of the Chinese Radio Sports Association in Mainland for additional information and would follow up discussion with OFTA later.  


Allocation of 50.0-50.05MHz, 70MHz, 5GHz and 10GHz for amateur service 

4.1 Mr. C.K. Cheng said that OFTA could consider the allocation of 50.0-50.5MHz for amateur use and would follow up accordingly.  
4.2 Mr. C.K. Cheng said that there is no allocation for amateur in the 70MHz band in Region 3. As the 70MHz band is heavily used in Hong Kong, OFTA would not consider the proposed allocation to amateur in this band.  
4.3 Mr. C.K. Cheng pointed out that the World Radiocommunications Conference of the ITU to be held in 2003 (WRC-2003) would discuss additional frequency allocation for radio LAN and other services in the band 5.15GHz – 5.725GHz. It was not appropriate to consider the secondary allocation for amateur in the 5.6GHz band before the WRC-2003 makes its decisions.   Mr. Cheng further added that during the meeting of the Radio Spectrum Advisory Committee held on 22.2.2001, the RSAC supported a proposal to allow the use of Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices in the 5.8GHz band in Hong Kong. The 5.8GHz band is assigned to low power devices (LPD) and amateur radio can also use this band on a secondary basis.  In order to avoid potential electromagnetic compatibility problems between the LPD and amateur users as the use of the 5.8GHz band by the LPD would become more and more popular, the maximum allowable transmitter power of amateur should be reduced to 4 watts e.i.r.p to be compatible with that of the LPDs. 
4.4 The Chairman said that OFTA would issue circular letters to the Amateur Station licensees to implement the amendment of Schedule to the Amateur Station Licences. Mr. Nagata of JAROC-HK supported the proposal and all members agreed with the approach.  
4.5 Mr. C.K. Cheng said that due to the need to migrate the existing fixed links working below 3GHz, there are needs to make use the 10GHz band for frequency replacement. In addition, there are also primary allocations for fixed and mobile in the 10GHz band in the Mainland, OFTA would not allocate the 10GHz band for amateur in Hong Kong in order to protect these primary services.


Radio Interference in 144-146MHz  

5.1 Mr. K.F. Kwan reported that during the past 3 months, 3 complaints were received by the Radio Monitoring Unit with the results as follows:

1.      Illegal phone patching – interference ceased during investigation.

2.      Illegal jamming – interference ceased before investigation.

3.      Illegal simplex traffic with foul language from unknown drivers - according to result of the investigation, the interference were suspected to be generated by a gang of container truck drivers. The illegal mobiles would be tackled by OFTA's routine roadblock operations.  

5.2 The Chairman said that OFTA has informed the Guangdong Radio Administrative Office for assistance about radio interference to the amateur band with interference sources suspected to be generated from Shenzhen. So far OFTA has not yet received any response.


OFTA’s DF System  

6.1 Mr. C.K. Cheng briefed the progress of implementation of the Direction Finding and Spectrum Monitoring System. He said that installation work for the remote fixed stations at the 4 hill tops and Control Centre at the Radio Monitoring Unit was completed. The stations and equipment were now being tested and calibrated.
6.2 The Chairman pointed out that, with the help of the new DF System, OFTA could tackle illegal interference more efficiently.  


Explanation on “Frequency Allocation – Secondary Basis”  

7.1 The Chairman explained that the term “Secondary” should follow the explanation as described in the Radio Regulations and the term “allocated” should means allocation made by the authority of the local administration.  


Introduction of Intermediate Class Amateur Station Licence  

8.1 The Chairman announced that OFTA agreed to introduce the new intermediate class of licence (with slower Morse test requirement). Liaison work with the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) at Tsing Yi for the arrangement of conducting the Radio Amateur Examinations (RAEs) and Morse Tests had been in progress. The Chairman targeted to complete the appointing procedures in July 2001 and start issuing the new class of licence by the end of this year. OFTA would closely monitor and  supervise the examinations/tests to be conducted by IVE.


Hong Kong Ham Net  

9.1 HKARA submitted a paper about the operation of the ‘Hong Kong Ham Net’ for OFTA’s comment. A copy of the paper was delivered to all members of the meeting for information.  
9.2 The Chairman confirmed that OFTA did not agree with the “single operator multi-frequencies operations” as depicted in HKARA’s submission. The Chairman suggested that amateurs should make their test calls channel by channel or each additional frequency should be operated by at least on different operator simultaneously.  
9.3 Mr. Tse of HARTS said that HARTS support on the use of Ham Radio Net but not on simultaneously transmission. Mr. Tse agreed that only one channel should be used for normal amateur traffic. However, Mr. Tse also mentioned that HARTS has the interest to establish the Ham Net for emergency situation testing in the future. The Chairman responded that for such testing purpose, amateur may apply for a temporary permit from OFTA.
9.4 Mr. Ho of HKARA said that they would consider OFTA’s comment and the views of other societies. After they have further discussion with their members, they would submit further information to OFTA for comment.  
9.5 The Chairman invited the licensees to develop and agree on appropriate procedures for amateur operations and activities if they wish to make it as general guidelines for the amateur users. OFTA would make appropriate arrangement to implement the agreed procedures if necessary.


Age limit for applying  Amateur Station Licence 

10.1 HKARA submitted a requested for removing the restriction of age limit in applying Amateur Station Licence. The Chairman confirmed that according to the existing regulations, there was no age limit for attending the RAE. OFTA would amend the information note to reflect the situation.


Any other business  

11.1 Mr. Charlie Ho asked for OFTA’s view on relaxing the existing restrictions for amateurs to operate the SSTV on 430-431 and 436-436MHz band. The Chairman confirmed that OFTA didn’t receive any information from the societies yet. Mr. Ho pointed out that as this band had already allowed amateur to use it for all modes of transmission, he cannot see any points why there should be a restriction for the use of SSTV. The Chairman agreed to re-consider the request if technically there was no potential interference which might be caused by SSTV to the licensed  radiocommunication services.  
11.2 Mr. Tse of HARTS thanked Mr. K.S. Wong, Assistant Director of OFTA for attending the reception hosted by HARTS with the Chairman of IARU Region 3, President of Chinese Radio Sports Association (CRSA) & Macau Amateur Radio Association (ARM) during the ITU Asia 2000. The Chairman thanked for HARTS’s invitation.  
11.3 Mr. Ho of HKARA requested OFTA to allow other Amateur Station Licensees to participate the liaison meeting as there were still many amateur licensees have not joined any amateur societies. The Chairman said that it would not be efficient to hold meeting with too many people and he encouraged the licensees may pass their views and ideas to the amateur societies so that the issues could be discussed in the liaison meeting with OFTA. Mr. Tse of HARTS also agreed that in order to increase their weight of representation, all societies should put more effort to promote themselves and recruit more new members. In addition, the Chairman has no objection for the societies to put the note of meetings with OFTA on the amateur societies' websites with a disclaimer of “for members only”. With this approach, the public was able to read the notes of meeting between OFTA and the amateur societies.  
11.4 Mr. Ho of HKARA requested OFTA to hold the meeting on Saturday. The Chairman apologized that this request cannot be entertained because the staff of OFTA worked on long/short week basis and staff of OFTA required to attend the liaison meeting have different roasters on Saturday. As the meeting was only held every 3 months, the Chairman hoped that the representatives from amateur societies could bear with the existing arrangement.  
11.5 HKARA proposed to add the licensees’ photo to the Authority To Operate (ATO) cards for the purpose of confirming the holders’ identity. The Chairman confirmed that OFTA has already replied to amateur societies that we would not add the photos but the identity card number to the ATO on request.  


Date of Next Meeting  

12.1 The next meeting was tentatively scheduled in May/June 2001. There being no other business, the meeting adjourned at 4:00pm.