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Technical Standards - Radio

RADIO CODE OF PRACTICE

ON TECHNICAL STANDARDS

COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY

APRIL 2012

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Technical Standards - Radio

Contents
SECTION 1 PREAMBLE

SECTION 2 STANDARDS FOR MF/AM SOUND BROADCASTING


SERVICE

2.1 Technical Standards

2.2 Characteristics of Audio Signals

2.3 Characteristics of Radio Frequency Signals

2.4 Spurious and Out-of-band Emissions

SECTION 3 STANDARDS FOR VHF/FM SOUND BROADCASTING


SERVICE

3.1 Technical Standards

3.2 Characteristics of Audio Signals

3.3 Characteristics of Supplementary Signals

3.4 Characteristics of Radio Frequency Signals

3.5 Spurious and Out-of-band Emissions

SECTION 4 STANDARDS FOR DIGITAL AUDIO BROADCASTING


SERVICE

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Characteristics of Transmission Signals

4.3 Characteristics of Audio Signals

4.4 Characteristics of Supplementary Signals

4.5 Characteristics of Radio Frequency Signals

4.6 List of Reference

SECTION 5 TRANSMITTER EQUIPMENT

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5.1 Access to Adjustments

5.2 Metering and Monitoring

5.3 Feeder Arrangements and Performance

5.4 Environmental and Reliability Requirements

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Technical Standards - Radio

SECTION 1 PREAMBLE

1.1 This Code of Practice is issued by the Communications Authority (CA),


pursuant to section 19 of the Broadcasting (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance
(Cap.391).

1.2 This Code is applicable to sound broadcasting services licensed under the
Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap.106).

1.3 Unless otherwise approved by the CA, the technical standards of a licensed
sound broadcasting service should comply with the relevant standards set out in this
Code which are applicable to that licensed sound broadcasting service.

1.4 The standards set out in this Code should be read in conjunction with
relevant legislation and licence conditions currently in force.

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Technical Standards - Radio

SECTION 2 STANDARDS FOR MF/AM SOUND BROADCASTING


SERVICE

2.1 TECHNICAL STANDARDS

Monophonic sound broadcasting service in the MF band shall use double


sideband amplitude modulation, suitable for conventional envelope detection
by receivers.

For stereophonic sound broadcasting service in the MF band, the compatible


quadrature amplitude modulation system (C-QUAM) as specified in CCIR
Report 458-5 (Volume X — Part 1, Geneva 1990) shall be employed.

2.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF AUDIO SIGNALS

The analogue audio signal shall be confined to the nominal frequency


range of 0 to 10 kHz.

2.3 CHARACTERISTICS OF RADIO FREQUENCY SIGNALS

2.3.1 Transmission Band

The transmitter shall operate within the frequency band of 526.5 to 1606.5
kHz.

2.3.2 Modulation Depth

The positive peak of the modulated envelope waveform shall be limited to a


maximum of 125% whereas the negative peak of the modulated envelope
waveform shall be limited to a maximum of 100%.

2.3.3 Carrier Frequency Stability

The carrier frequency shall remain within ±10 Hz from the nominal frequency.

2.3.4 Carrier Level Stability

The carrier level shall not vary by more than ±5% from its unmodulated level
under any condition of modulation.

2.3.5 Polarization

Vertical polarization shall be employed unless otherwise specified by the CA.

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Technical Standards - Radio

2.3.6 Operating Power

The transmitter output power into the aerial system shall be maintained as near
as is practicable to the authorized value and may not be less than 90% or more
than 105% of the authorized value.

2.4 SPURIOUS AND OUT-OF-BAND EMISSIONS

With the transmitter operating at its specified power into its designed load
impedance, or into the aerial system at the authorized power, the power of any
spurious emissions (spurious emissions include harmonic emissions, parasitic
emissions, intermodulation products and frequency conversion products) and
out-of-band emissions measured downstream of all filters, combiners, and
multiplexers, shall not exceed the following limits:

— a value of 25 dB below the unmodulated carrier power for emissions


10.2 kHz to 20 kHz away from the carrier;

— a value of 35 dB below the unmodulated carrier power for emissions


20 kHz to 30 kHz away from the carrier;

— a value of (5 + f) dB below the unmodulated carrier power for emissions


30 kHz to 60 kHz away from the carrier, where f is the frequency in kHz
away from the carrier;

— a value of 65 dB below the unmodulated carrier power for emissions


60 kHz to 75 kHz away from the carrier;

— a value of [43 + 10 log10(transmitter power in watts)] dB below the


unmodulated carrier power, or 80 dB below the unmodulated carrier
power, whichever is the lesser attenuation, except for transmitters having
power less than 158 watts, where the attenuation shall be at least 65 dB
below the unmodulated carrier power, for emissions more than 75 kHz
away from the carrier.

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Technical Standards - Radio

SECTION 3 STANDARDS FOR VHF/FM SOUND BROADCASTING


SERVICE

3.1 TECHNICAL STANDARDS

The transmission under VHF/FM sound broadcasting service shall comply


with CCIR Recommendation 450-1 (Volume X — Part 1, Geneva 1990) and
shall adhere to additional provisions and certain options specified in this Code.

For stereophonic VHF/FM sound broadcasting service, the pilot-tone system


specified in section 2.2 of CCIR Recommendation 450-1 (Volume X — Part 1,
Geneva 1990) shall be employed.

3.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF AUDIO SIGNALS

3.2.1 The analogue audio signals shall be confined to the nominal frequency
range of 0 to 15 kHz.

3.2.2 The audio signal shall be subject to pre-emphasis with a time-constant of 50 μs


± 2 μs.

3.3 CHARACTERISTICS OF SUPPLEMENTARY SIGNALS

3.3.1 The rest frequency of any sub-carrier of the supplementary signal sent in
addition to the main monophonic or stereophonic programme shall be no more
than 76 kHz with respect to the main carrier.

3.3.2 The instantaneous sideband occupancy of any sub-carrier of the supplementary


signal within the baseband multiplex shall be within a limit of 80 kHz with
respect to the main carrier. This containment is defined as an amplitude of
-20 dB with respect to the sub-carrier amplitude, at the frequency limit of 80
kHz given above.

3.3.3 The arithmetic sum of the supplementary signals shall have a maximum
amplitude of 10% of the maximum permitted baseband signal value,
corresponding to a deviation of the main carrier by ±7.5 kHz. The maximum
permitted baseband signal value corresponds to the maximum deviation of ±75
kHz of the main carrier. See also section 3.4.3 below.

3.3.4 Where Radio Data System (RDS) is transmitted, the characteristics of RDS
shall follow CCIR Recommendation 643-1 (Volume X — Part 1, Geneva
1990). The following group types are permitted:

type 0 groups : basic tuning and switching information

type 1 groups : programme item number

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type 2 groups : only radiotext directly related to the


sound broadcast programme may be
transmitted

type 4A groups : clock-time and date

type 6 groups : in-house application may be allowed


subject to prior approval given by the
CA

type 14 groups : enhanced other networks information

type 15B groups : fast basic tuning and switching


information

3.3.5 Where systems other than RDS conforming to CCIR Recommendation 643-1
(Volume X — Part 1, Geneva 1990) are transmitted, the greatest incursion by
the sidebands of the sub-carriers of such systems shall not, within the baseband
multiplex, i.e., prior to modulation of the main carrier, extend below a
frequency of 60 kHz, this limit being defined as a signal amplitude of -30 dB
with respect to the sub-carrier amplitude. Under no circumstances shall the
deviation of the main carrier by these systems, taken together, (excluding that
attributable to RDS) exceed ±5 kHz. The use of these systems for carrying
any supplementary information shall be subject to prior approval given by the
CA.

3.4 CHARACTERISTICS OF RADIO FREQUENCY SIGNALS

3.4.1 Transmission Band

The transmitter shall operate within the frequency band of 87 to 108 MHz.

3.4.2 Channel Separation

Channel assignments shall be separated by an integral multiple of 100 kHz.

3.4.3 Maximum Frequency Deviation

The maximum frequency deviation applied to the radio frequency carrier shall
not exceed ±75 kHz under all circumstances. The means of achieving this
shall include the insertion of audio limiters at appropriate points in the
programme input equipment of the transmitter. These limiters may be
separate or combined, or integral to equipment used for other purposes.

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3.4.4 Carrier Frequency Stability

The transmitter RF carrier frequency, in the absence of modulation, shall not


vary by more than ±2 kHz.

3.4.5 Change of Carrier Centre Frequency

The transmitter RF carrier centre frequency shall not vary by more than ±200
Hz under any modulation condition up to ±75 kHz peak deviation.

3.4.6 Carrier Amplitude Modulation

The amplitude modulation of the RF carrier shall not exceed 1% depth of


modulation.

3.4.7 Polarization

Circular polarization shall be employed (left-hand rotation as observed from


the receiving antenna when facing the transmitter) unless otherwise specified
by the CA.

3.4.8 Operating Power

The transmitter output power into the aerial system shall be maintained as near
as is practicable to the authorized value and may not be less than 90% or more
than 105% of the authorized value.

3.5 SPURIOUS AND OUT-OF-BAND EMISSIONS

With the transmitter operating at any power up to its specified power level into
its designed load impedance, the level of any spurious emissions (spurious
emissions include harmonic emissions, parasitic emissions, intermodulation
products and frequency conversion products) and out-of-band emissions
measured downstream of all filters, combiners, and multiplexers, above a
frequency of 100 kHz, excluding the range ±150 kHz relative to the
unmodulated carrier frequency, shall not exceed the following limits:

— a value of 40 dB below the unmodulated carrier power, for erp ≤ -6 dBW


(250 mW)

— a value of (46 + erp in dBW) dB below the unmodulated carrier power,


for -6 dBW (250 mW) < erp ≤ 14 dBW (25 W)

— a value of 60 dB below the unmodulated carrier power, for 14 dBW (25


W) < erp ≤ 30 dBW (1 kW)

— a value of (30 + erp in dBW) dB below the unmodulated carrier power,


for erp > 30 dBW (1 kW)

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and in the band 118 — 137 MHz:

— a value of (46 + erp in dBW) dB below the unmodulated carrier power,


for -6 dBW (250 mW) < erp ≤ 39 dBW (7.9 kW)

— a value of 85 dB below the unmodulated carrier power, for erp > 39 dBW
(7.9 kW)

also, in the band 108 — 118 MHz:

— a value of (46 + erp in dBW) dB below the unmodulated carrier power,


for -6 dBW (250 mW) < erp ≤ 30 dBW (1 kW)

— a value of [76 + (erp in dBW - 30)/2] dB below the unmodulated carrier


power, for 30 dBW (1 kW) < erp ≤ 48 dBW (63 kW)

— a value of 85 dB below the unmodulated carrier power, for erp > 48 dBW
(63 kW)

where erp refers to system effective radiated power.

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Technical Standards - Radio

SECTION 4 STANDARDS FOR DIGITAL AUDIO BROADCASTING


SERVICE

4.1 INTRODUCTION

This section specifies the technical standards for the provision of Digital
Audio Broadcasting (DAB) service in Hong Kong. The full title and
specific version of the respective technical specifications referenced in this
section are summarised in section 4.6.

4.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF TRANSMISSION SIGNALS

4.2.1 Transmission signals shall comply with the following standards issued by
the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) :

a. ETSI EN 300 401 : DAB to mobile, portable and fixed receivers1;


and
b. ETSI TR 101 496-1, ETSI TR 101 496-2, ETSI TR 101 496-3 :
Guidelines and rules for implementation and operation2.

4.2.2 Network codes in association with the transmission signal shall conform to
ETSI TS 101 756 and, in particular, the following codes shall be used :

International Telecommunications Union Code: HKG


Country Identifier Code (Country Id): F
Extended Country Code (ECC): F1
Language (code in hex): Chinese (75)

4.3 CHARACTERISTICS OF AUDIO SIGNALS

4.3.1 Audio signal encoding shall conform to MPEG-4 High-Efficiency Advanced


Audio Coding version 2 profile (HE AAC v2) as specified in ETSI TS 102
563.

4.4 CHARACTERISTICS OF SUPPLEMENTARY SIGNALS

4.4.1 Character Sets

The use of character sets shall comply with ETSI TS 101 756 and conform
to (a) ISO/IEC10646 : 2003 of CJK full set (subset for Chinese), Latin

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Provisions relevant to the transport of MPEG Audio Layer II (ISO/IEC 11172-3 and ISO/IEC
13818-3) (Clause 7) and the Dynamic Range Control (DRC) method (Clause 7.4.1.1) are not
applicable.
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Provisions relevant to audio coding of MPEG Audio Layer II (ISO/IEC 11172-3 and ISO/IEC
13818-3) are not applicable.

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Technical Standards - Radio

subset and encoded control characters using both UCS-2 and UTF-8
transformation format and (b) Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set –
2004 (HKSCS-2004).

4.4.2 Text Display

Implementation of text display shall comply with ETSI EN 300 401. Text
display will include one or more of the following items : (a) Service Label, (b)
Dynamic Label and (c) Intellitext conforming to ETSI TS 102 652.

4.4.3 Slide Show

Implementation of slide show shall comply with ETSI TS 101 499. Display
image shall be encoded in JPEG at a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels in
landscape mode. The maximum file size in JPEG shall not exceed 64
kBytes.

4.4.4 Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)

Implementation of Electronic Programme Guide shall comply with ETSI TS


102 818 and ETSI TS 102 371.

4.4.5 Time Format

Time signals shall be presented in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) plus


Local Time Offset (LTO) (i.e. UTC + 8 for Hong Kong).

4.4.6 Dynamic Range Control (DRC)

Implementation of Dynamic Range Control shall comply with ETSI TS 102


563.

4.5 CHARACTERISTICS OF RADIO FREQUENCY SIGNALS

4.5.1 Transmission Band

The transmitter shall operate within the frequency band 174-240MHz (Band
III).

4.5.2 Frequency Channelling Plan

Frequency channelling plan shall conform to ITU-R Recommendation


BS.1660.

4.5.3 Transmission Mode

Transmission mode shall conform to Mode I as defined in ETSI EN 300 401.

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4.5.4 Technical Requirements for DAB Transmitter

4.5.4.1 DAB transmitters shall comply with ETSI EN 302 077-1 for :
(a) Rated output power;
(b) Frequency stability;
(c) Crest factor;
(d) Signal delay of DAB transmitters;
(e) Behaviour in case of erroneous Ensemble Transport Interface (ETI)
signal;
(f) Bit Error Ratio (BER)-Performance degradation;
(g) Spurious and out-of-band emissions; and
(h) Cabinet radiation

4.5.4.2 The radiated signal characteristics of the transmitter shall comply with the
spectrum mask for VHF transmitters in critical areas for adjacent channel
interference as specified in clause 15.4 of ETSI EN 300 401.

4.6 LIST OF REFERENCE

(a) ISO/IEC 10646 :2003 Information technology - Universal Multiple-Octet


Coded Character Set (UCS)
(b) ISO/IEC 11172-3 :1993 Information technology – Coding of moving pictures
and associated audio for digital storage media at up to about 1.5Mbit/s ; Part
3 : Audio

(c) ISO/IEC 13818-3 :2007 Information technology – General coding of moving


pictures and associated audio information ; Part 3 : Audio
(d) ITU-R Recommendation BS.1660 (2003) : Technical basis for planning of
terrestrial digital sound broadcasting in the VHF band

(e) ETSI EN 300 401 V1.4.1 (2006-06) Radio Broadcasting Systems; Digital
Audio Broadcasting (DAB) to mobile, portable and fixed receivers

(f) ETSI EN 302 077-1 V1.1.1 (2005-01) Electromagnetic compatibility and


Radio spectrum Matters (ERM); Transmitting equipment for the Terrestrial -
Digital Audio Broadcasting (T-DAB) service; Part 1: Technical characteristics
and test methods

(g) ETSI TR 101 496-1 V1.1.1 (2000-11) Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB);
Guidelines and rules for implementation and operation; Part 1: System outline

(h) ETSI TR 101 496-2 V1.1.2 (2001-05) Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB);
Guidelines and rules for implementation and operation; Part 2: System
features

(i) ETSI TR 101 496-3 V1.1.2 (2001-05) Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB);
Guidelines and rules for implementation and operation; Part 3: Broadcast

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network

(j) ETSI TS 101 499 V2.1.1 (2006-01) Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); MOT
Slide Show; User Application Specification

(k) ETSI TS 101 756 V1.3.1 (2006-02) Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB);
Registered Tables

(l) ETSI TS 102 371 V1.2.1 (2006-02) Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB);
Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM); Transportation and Binary Encoding
Specification for Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)

(m) ETSI TS 102 563 V1.1.1 (2007-02) Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB);
Transport of Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio

(n) ETSI TS 102 652 V1.1.1 (2007-10) Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB);
intellitext; application specification

(o) ETSI TS 102 818 V1.3.1 (2006-02) Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB);
Digital Radio Mondial (DRM); XML Specification for DAB Electronic
Programme Guide (EPG)

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SECTION 5 TRANSMITTER EQUIPMENT

5.1 ACCESS TO ADJUSTMENTS

All controls and adjustments which, if maladjusted, might result in any


transgression of the requirements of this Code, shall not be accessible without
the use of a tool.

5.2 METERING AND MONITORING

The transmitter shall incorporate a suitable meter indicating, or uniquely related


to, the RF output power. Moreover, a monitoring point shall be provided,
presented as a fixed BNC coaxial connector (50 or 75 ohm), fed via suitable
coupling mechanism from the transmitter RF output. A similar monitoring
point shall also be provided from the combiner RF output if any. A monitor
point, presented either as a fixed BNC coaxial connector, or as a fixed audio line
jack socket, shall be provided, fed via a suitable coupling mechanism from the
feed to the modulator input.

5.3 FEEDER ARRANGEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE

5.3.1 Where more than one transmitter is installed for the service (to enable continuity
of service in the event that one transmitter fails), the feeder and combiner
arrangements shall allow either transmitter to be tested separately off-air,
feeding into a dummy load provided by the operator.

5.3.2 Where only one transmitter is installed for the service, the feeder arrangement
shall enable (by switching or by an easy change of connection) the transmitter to
be tested off-air feeding into a dummy load provided by the operator.

5.3.3 In the case of VHF/FM transmissions, the transmitting aerial shall be matched to
the characteristic impedance of its RF feeder cable to provide a return loss of not
less than 16 dB. The return loss presented to the transmitter RF output shall
not be less than 14 dB. This performance shall be achieved over a bandwidth
of at least ±150 kHz relative to the unmodulated carrier frequency.

5.3.4 In case of MF transmissions, the transmitter should be capable of meeting the


requirements of this Code, when transmitting into an aerial whose return loss is
20 dB at the carrier frequency, and 10 dB at ±10 kHz from the carrier.

5.4 ENVIRONMENTAL AND RELIABILITY REQUIREMENTS

Compliance with the above requirements for the characteristics and limits of the
transmissions shall be achieved over the following ranges:

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— Ambient temperature -5°C to 40°C

— Relative humidity 0% to 95%

— Variations in the range +6% to -10% of the nominal value of the mains
power supply, and also when operating from any reserve power
arrangements sourced locally.

Outside these limits any degradation shall not be harmful to the radio spectrum.

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