The Employment of RSPP to Acquire Information Superiority

Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 in Articles, Slider | 32 comments

The Employment of RSPP to Acquire Information Superiority

The Employment of RSPP to Acquire Information Superiority

  This article discusses the presentation of Drs. Rini M. Goos, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of European Defense Agency (EDA), for the AFCEA TechNet Europe 2013 which took place at Hilton Warsaw Hotel, Poland on May 28, 2013. Mr. Goos highlighted the supreme significance of the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP) and indicated the three domains (information superiority, communication security, and big-data analysis) in which it can be of astonishing support.

 Radio spectrum refers to the bandwidth of the corresponding electromagnetic radio frequencies between 9 kHz and 3,000 GHz to channels; an essential resource for wireless connections (e.g. Wi-Fi and mobile phones) and technological innovation in Europe. Namely, it is a key element in the fields of transport, broadcasting, public safety, research, environmental protection, and energy. However, as a finite resource it carries a fundamental constraint: radio receivers travel internationally, consequently its usage needs effective and efficient coordination at European level. The tremendous popularity of mobile devices is contingent on their access and connectivity to wireless technologies. The most compelling evidence of their significance is that the total volume of services depending on radio spectrum availability is estimated to be worth at least €200 billion annually in Europe.

Given the growing importance of the radio spectrum as a natural resource, and building on the progress made under the Radio Spectrum Decision (676/2002/EC), in 2012 the European Union established the RSPP to define key policy objectives and set up general principles for managing radio spectrum in the internal market. The Program lies under the jurisdiction of the European Commission and aims to achieve a comprehensive internal market for wireless innovation via enabling the European Union to make the most of this finite resource. Its main goal is to coordinate the direction of frequencies efficiently without transmission interferences and regulate them nationally and internationally with semantic security. To accomplish its goal RSPP has set the following three objectives:

1. To harmonize spectrum access conditions to enable interoperability and economies of scale for wireless equipment.
2. To work towards a more efficient use of spectrum.
3. To improve the availability of information about the current use, future plans for use and availability of spectrum.

Particularly, RSPP defines a roadmap for the next steps in EU Radio Spectrum Policy and currently focuses on the spectrum’s need for security and high speed for the 4th generation (4G) wireless broadband systems while safeguarding essential defense, emergency or earth observation requirements.
Mr. Goos elaborately asserted that RSPP can indeed be the means to create a consolidated radio system throughout the European Union which can connect its members and assist them in military operations through serving as the protocol for secure and ethical exchange of information. In fact, he claimed that RSPP could be the means to communicate whatever, whenever, and wherever. Specifically, the Programme’s services for the Armed Forces will focus in three main domains: information superiority, secure communication, and analysis of big-data.

Acquiring information superiority greatly contributes to various facets of the battlefield. These are predominantly the effectiveness of the mission, the protection of the deployed soldiers, and support in quick decision-making. However, the implementation of such missions would require the involvement of other assets such as drones and an exclusive satellite communication.

Securing the multilateral communication among the deployed units, and with the home base as well, is vital for the conduct of a fine-tuned and rapidly evolving operation. The accomplishment of such a communication would require secure and reliable wireless access for the positioned troops and simultaneously, the physical protection of themselves and the security of their communication.

Analysis of big-data is the digestion of the information exchanged. It refers to the synthesis of big-data to facilitate the decision-making process. Yet, provided that civilian services are often outsourced for the provision of the communication a noteworthy suspicion is generated: Is the access to the information exchanged managed ethically? This decentralization of control of access creates unnecessary risks due to the multitude of the stakeholders. To minimize such risks the provider needs to be an institution of the European Union.
The analysis of big-data is a huge asset and the security of communication is a key asset. These two dimensions are crucial and can lead to information superiority which in our times, the ‘Era of Information’, is the most precious resource on the battlefield. The primary concern of the communication of Armed Forces is why, to whom, and via which means to send information. Therefore, EDA has established a network of cooperation with United States European Command (EUCOM) & National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in a joint endeavor to enhance their cyber-defense capacity which has rightfully become their first priority. Mr. Goos maintains that the implementation of the RSPP along with the satisfaction of the requirements for each of the aforementioned domains can indeed be the binding recipe which can provide invaluable support not only to military operations but to various diverse activities too.

Diagoupis Antonios
Undergraduate, International Business & European Affairs