Frequency Co-ordination Services
Because of spectrum congestion, these days pretty much any radio system licensed in the UK ends up sharing a channel with someone else.
Depending on the amount of care taken in the original co-ordination process the result could range from having no problems at all to severe co-channel interference affecting the businesses of those involved (and nobody wants that). The problem of co-channel usage is particularly severe in built-up areas - where most businesses are and where most businesses require communications.
The Utilities have a similar problem, but it's on a national scale. Every energy supply company requires communications and at certain times that requirement for communications is essential. This is where JRC frequencies come in. Most electricity utilities still maintain a resilient mobile communications network to aid supply restoration in the event of a wide-area power blackout caused by, say, a particularly bad storm. Extreme weather events are becoming more common and contingency planning requirements mean that resilient communications are again becoming an essential requirement.
It's been demonstrated at depressingly regular intervals recently that the mobile phone infrastructure cannot handle communications in an emergency (and they don't pretend to be able to do it, either). It's not the coverage, nor the (intentionally short) power resilience of the public networks that's the problem: it's that word "Public" that's important. It means that the networks simply don't have the capacity to handle utility traffic along with the general public phoning each other to discuss the events under way.
Despite this, not all CNI organisations employ their own resilient communications. If you live in an area where they don't, well...!
All the JRC regional radio networks are in a segment of the radio spectrum licensed by JRC and known in the UK as the Mid-Band Downband. The actual allocation used by the Energy Industry is made up of two 1 MHz blocks centred around 140 MHz and 148.5 MHz - we call it J-Band or JRC-Band.
For more details, check out our listing on RF Man's Frequency Page (look out for the hateful flying pop-up adverts that come with the free web space he's using!)
This block of spectrum is planned for national geographic coverage using a high-density channel reuse cellular assignment plan originally devised by the JRC. All requests for new assignments in this band need to be co-ordinated using planning rules based in this cellular plan.
JRC's planning tools are state-of-the-art and the operators have a lot of practical experience in radio service area design, planning and network roll-out so the usual problem associated with radio planning tools: wrong or inaccurate predictions, is avoided.
We have been able to help several non-utility organisations plan radio networks and individual assignments as well as optimising the network designs of our utility membership.
For more information on our radio planning facilities and services, please feel free to contact us!