"For members only"

Notes of Meeting with Amateur Radio Societies

held on 12 September 2001 at OFTA's Conference Room


Present: Mr. T.Y. Chan OFTA (Chairman)
  Mr. Paul Anderson HARTS
  Mr. Ho Wing-leung HKARA
  Mr. Hung Siu-hung HKARA
  Mr. Chiu Wai Ho CARSC
  Mr. Tang Wai Peng CARSC
  Mr. Warren Wong OFTA
  Mr. C.K. Cheng OFTA
  Mr. Y.C. Leung OFTA
  Mr. Warren Kwok OFTA
  Mr. K.T. Seto 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 28 February 2001 were confirmed without amendment.


2. Matters arising in the last meeting


2.1 The Chairman stated that HKARA and/or other societies may provide further proposal for the operation of the proposed Hong Kong Ham Net.


2.2 The Chairman confirmed that OFTA have set up formal contact with 5  administrations (i.e. United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Macau) for the reciprocal licensing arrangement and was still awaiting reply.


For mainland China, the issue has been brought up in the last frequency coordinating meeting with Ministry of Information Industry (MII) in May. It was found that the licensing issuing authority in China (i.e. China Radio Sports Association) had issued Guidelines for overseas (including Hong Kong) amateurs to apply for amateur operation in the mainland,   reciprocal recognition agreement may not be necessary..  The Chairman welcomed the societies to report to this office if there were problems regarding the current arrangement in China.



OFTAíŽs DF System


3.1 The Chairman said that the RMU DF's system has been put into operation and the performance was satisfactory.   It was hoped that the system would improve the overall efficiency of RMU and hence complaints from amateurs could be dealt with faster.



Repeater Linking



The Chairman told the members that the proposal to install linking facility for the amateur repeater at Tate's Carin was not acceptable.


5. Call Sign Arrangement


5.1 Mr. Seto introduced the paper on the arrangement of Amateur Station Call Sign Assignment (Annex 1).   The chairman said that the new arrangement would be implemented in due course.


5.2 The Chairman supplemented that in order to make the assignment of Call Sign more open, a list of the available Call Signs for potential Amateur users would be published on OFTAíŽs homepage for public browsing. The list would be updated monthly and all released Call Signs (i.e. Call Signs withdrawn from former users) would be highlighted in the list and frozen for 2 years before re-assigned to new users.




6. Amateur Band Harmonization


6.1 Mr. Cheng confirmed that as the issue for the IARU submission to WRC2003 was one of the study items in the study group of WRC 2003. It was not appropriate to have discussion in this meeting. However, Hong Kong would have a position paper to consult the public (i.e. through the RSAC).


The Chairman also said that as Amateur societies had no representatives in the RSAC, OFTA would keep the societies informed on the progress of the consultation.


6.2 Mr. Cheng confirmed that the assignment of frequency for other services would subject to the existing usage of frequency in Hong Kong and the nearby provinces and OFTA had to protect the primary services. As the 430-440 MHz band was allocated to radiolocation service for primary operation in Region 3, OFTA would have no objection for the licensed amateur user to listen/receive on the frequency 439-439.975MHz (the frequencies operated by the amateur radio repeaters in nearby provinces of mainland China) in principle. However, transmission on this frequency band for amateur users should be strictly prohibited.


6.3 Mr. Cheng confirmed that there were no spare channels available for further assignment within the frequency band of 1240-1300MHz. This band had been fully occupied by the users of primary service (i.e. Radiolocation Service) and OFTA was unable to release any frequency channels for Amateur service.


7. Amateur Radio Activities as Service to the Community


7.1 The Chairman requested Mr. Paul Anderson of HARTS to have further clarification on this issue.


Mr. Anderson confirmed that they requested OFTA to provide additional assistance (i.e. shorten the application/approval time) in their applications for establishing temporary radio stations/repeaters for the provision of radio service to functions and activities of the community.


The Chairman confirmed that OFTA was always willing to provide all possible convenience and assistance to any applications which serve the  community. However,  OFTA could not commit on a specific shortest period required for different  kinds of  applications  as the natures of different applications were different. The Chairman requested the societies to provide sufficient supporting documents and allow at least  2 weeks for OFTA to process an application.  Longer time may be required for complicated application.


Feasibility of Licensing CB for Land Use


8.1 The Chairman stated that  that OFTA previously had considered on the feasibility of legalizing the use of CB channels (i.e. from 26.965 íV 27.405MHz) in Hong Kong by introducing the Class Licence. However, during the equipment survey, it was found that the operating frequency range of most of the CB radio equipment available in the  market covered  the Amateur Band (i.e. 28.0 íV 29.7MHz).  OFTA considered liberalizing the CB radio might cause harmful and uncontrollable interference to the existing Amateur users.


Mr. Anderson of HARTS asked whether this problem could be tackled by tightening the local type-approved equipment standard in order to prohibit the CB radio equipment to have transmission at the amateur band.


The Chairman said that this was not feasible due to limited market in Hong Kong. If we tightened our standard, there would be no equipment available in the market for the CB users in Hong Kong. Hence it would cause the liberalization meaningless.


Mr. Anderson said that HARTS would try to gather additional information about the suitable CB radio equipment to meet  the special need in Hong Kong for OFTA's consideration.


Family Radio Service Band for Public Use


9.1 Mr. Cheng confirmed that the 14 FRS Channels which currently used in USA were all allocated for Land Mobile services in Hong Kong and hence it was not possible to adopt this system in Hong Kong.


9.2 Mr. Hung Siu Hung of HKARA then asked OFTA to study the possibility for adopting the similar systems that were currently used in Europe.


Mr. Cheng agreed to have further study on the feasibility on the European Systems and requested Mr. Hung to provide additional information.


9.3 The Chairman also said that to liberalize the use of CB radio might be a way out in the future and OFTA would also considered the possibility of allocating more open channels for general public use for leisure purpose.


10 Power Limit of Fixed Station Operation for 144MHz band


10.1 Mr. Cheng asked the societies to provide reasons for the need to increase the power for 144MHz band.


Mr. Ho of HKARA explained that they just wanted to keep it in line with other frequency bands within the schedule of the licence.


Mr. Cheng explained that as the VHF allocated for MRS service were all limited at 25 watts, in order to minimize the potential interference problem, OFTA considered that the power limit for amateur band at 144MHz should be in line with the existing huge group of MRS users.


The Chairman also confirmed that OFTA had planned to limit the power output for the 430MHz band down to 25 watts as well in the next round. Societies would be kept informed.


Waiving of Amateur Licence Fee for Senior Citizen


11.1 The Chairman apologized that in accordance with the current legislation, OFTA had no authority to waive any licence fee.


Amateur Licensing Procedural Matters


12.1 Mr. Anderson enquired OFTA regarding the procedures for the licensees to change address and also to review it to make it more efficient (i.e. to simplify the documentary evidence requirement for the ownership/occupation of the premises).


Mr. H.C.Chan confirmed that currently OFTA also accepted the invoices/bills issued by the public services (i.e. gas bills, electricity bills, water bills) as documentry evidence. OFTA considered this should be acceptable method for both the applicants and the authority.


12.2 The Chairman further stated that to permit the installation of amateur radiocommunication in  commercial vehicles was not acceptable since the amateur radiocommunication was solely for leisure purpose.


12.3 As the Amateur Licensing Procedural Matters were considered as an on-going issue, the Chairman requested to keep this item in the Agenda for future meetings.




Any Other Business
13.1 Revision of Frequency Allocation


Mr. Cheng reported that, in accordance with the WRC2000, some frequency band previously allocated to Amateur would be revised (i.e. from 75.5 íV 78GHz and 142 íV 149GHz). The information were given  in Annex 2.

The Chairman requested the societies to pass this information to their members. OFTA might inform all the licensees by a circular letter.


13.2 Mr. Ho of HKARA said that the above frequency bands were too high beyond the need for the existing amateur users. Mr. Ho hoped that OFTA could consider to allocating more frequencies under 3GHz band for amateur use.


The Chairman replied that according to the existing congested band plan, it was difficult for OFTA to have additional assignment below 3GHz. OFTA needed to balance the demand of different service sectors and all frequency assignment matters will have sufficient consultation and discussion through the Radio Spectrum Advisory Committee (RSAC).


13.3 Mr. Ho further enquired about whether OFTA would allow the use of new transmission technology for the amateur service (i.e. spread spectrum).


The Chairman requested the societies to provide more information on the new technology which they would like to employ in the amateur stations and detail technical specifications of equipment  for OFTAíŽs consideration


13.4 Mr. Anderson of HARTS stated that the Internet Licensing Service was welcomed by amateurs and OFTA should make it permanent. The Chairman replied that OFTA would later make the service permanently. 



14. Date of Next Meeting


14.1   OFTA would inform all members the exact date of the next meeting.