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MALTA

  • "General Authorisations Citation: (Radiocommunications Apparatus) Regulations," Subsidiary Legislation 49.09: Legal Notice 7 of 2008, as amended by Legal Notice 292 of 2008; Act XV of 2009; and Legal Notice 98 of 2010. Note that this covers maritime mobile radios as well as wireless access networks at 2.4, 5, 17 and 60 GHz.
  • "Free Wi-Fi Internet project launched at Birkirkara garden," MaltaMedia.com, 26 May 2009: "...The project involves the setting up of free Wi-Fi Internet points at locations frequented by the community and is intended to promote the usage of Internet by means of portable devices such as laptops, netbooks and mobile phones away from home or the office desk... All the Internet points will be filtered against inappropriate and unlawful content so as to offer a safer internet environment particularly for minors... The first places to have a free Wi-Fi Internet point will also include Independence Garden in Sliema and St Aloysius College Sports Complex in Birkirkara. In the near future a number of Wi-Fi points will also be installed in a number of public libraries and schools. The Chairman of the Malta Communications Authority (MCA), Ing. Philip Micallef, who was also present for the inauguration, thanked the partners involved in this project - amongst them CISCO, donor of all the wireless access points..."
  • "Free Wi-Fi in public spaces," MaltaMedia.com, 1 June 2010: "Close to 31,000 users have accessed the Internet via the 19 existing WiFi Spots across Malta and Gozo during the first 4 months this year. 'In the coming months, a further 69 free WiFi spots will be set up across Malta and Gozo, bringing the total number of hotspots to 88.' This was stated by Ing. Philip Micallef, Executive Chairman of the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) during a press conference held earlier on today... 'These hotspots will be set up mainly in village squares and other public spaces. However experience has shown that the most popular spots are those connected to public transport. It is for this reason that we shall, in due course, also extend this initiative to cover prime bus-stops as well as the terminal in Cirkewwa,' he said..."
  • "MCA Takes over Spectrum Management Responsibilities," Malta Communications Authority, 6 August 2004.
  • National Frequency Plan, November 2002 edition (in English, 105 pages).
  • "Information Document Relating to Radio Local Area Network (RLAN) Equipment" MCA, 8 June 2004. Discusses both 2.4 and 5 GHz. Generally consistent with EU norms, but as this was issued before the EU electronic services directives were transposed into Maltese law, on the question of licensing the Document says only that RLANs are "exempted from the requirement of paying a licence." [emphasis added] License exemption for radio services was not possible until the enactment of "Subsidiary Legislation 399.28: Electronic Communications Networks and Services (General) Regulations" on 14 September 2004. That gave MCA the right to decide whether "general authorization" is sufficient for some radio services: when such services are offered to the public, the service provider must give MCA prior notice. Apparently MCA will announce early in 2007 which radio services are subject to general authorzation - see below.
  • "The Radiocommunications Act (Cap 49) provides the licensing framework for radiocommunications apparatus in Malta. Under the Radiocommunications Act everybody requires a licence to have in possession apparatus for radiocommunications and this generally takes the form of a licence or a general authorisation created under secondary legislation... In July 2004, the new European Union (EU) Framework for electronic communications was transposed into Maltese law. The framework is composed of primary and secondary legislation:
    • Electronic Communications (Regulations) Act (Cap 399);
    • Electronic Communications Networks and Services (General) Regulations (Legal Notice 412 of 2004)
      "The new regulatory framework does not replace the Radiocommunications Act. The Radiocommunications Act only regulates the possession of equipment whilst the Electronic Communications (Regulations) Act regulates the assignment of frequencies where such use involves the provision of an electronic communications network or service... Prior to the migration of the WTD [Wireless and Telegraphy Department] functions to the MCA [in 2004] all access to spectrum was granted by assigning frequencies for use by a service to individual users, on a first come first served basis and via licence fee exemptions for those systems that operate without unduly affecting other users (e.g. short range devices). The review of the functions of the WTD re-examined the need for individual licences for radiocommunications apparatus and looked at ways where national interest safeguards could still be met through licence exempt / general authorisation arrangements. This approach is planned to be implemented for licence categories that fail to satisfy one or more of the above-mentioned reasons for requiring a licence (e.g. wireless access networks and services operating in the harmonised 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, short range devices and specific maritime and aeronautical equipment)... Where possible, access to radio spectrum will be via licence exempt / general authorisation arrangements. Such a regime will be used to accommodate new technologies as they are introduced..." ---"Policy Review and Strategic Framework of Radio Spectrum Management - Consultation Paper" MCA, 30 October 2006. By using the future tense, MCA shows it has not yet decided which wireless services will be exempt from licensing. But as the consultation ended 14 December 2006, their decision must come early in 2007.

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