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Content for  TR 22.926  Word version:  18.0.0

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7  5G ET UE location related used use casesWord‑p. 13

7.1  IntroductionWord‑p. 13

This clause describes use cases for which Extraterritoriality is expressed with respect to the UE and its access to the 5G network.

7.2  Regulatory implications for UEs in border regionsWord‑p. 13

7.2.1  DescriptionWord‑p. 13

This use case considers a common scenario in which the UE operates in a location not definitively within one sovereign territory. There are regulations that apply to each sovereign territory. How should the UE and network behave in this situation?
There are two aspects of this use case - frequency regulation and operational regulation (e.g. lawful interception.)
Where there are frequency emissions aspects, there are pre-existing regulations as a result of bilateral or multilateral negotiations between sovereignties. Where this is not successful, the ITU may be involved. It is therefore assumed that there are radio emissions restrictions across borders.
Examples of border regions include:
  • Along a river or natural feature defining a border
  • In disputed territory
  • In a border region which is too complex to entirely control all radio transmissions
In ITU regulations this is termed a 'cross-border' scenario.
In cross-border scenarios where there is ambiguity (or impossibility to adequately restrict emissions across the borders) there may be special arrangements, e.g. an exclusionary zone. In a specific example, there are frequencies that are of concern to Russia, so a treaty with Finland restricts use of these within a number of km of the border it shares with Russia.
For a UE operating in a cross-border scenario, especially with access provided by a NTN network operator, the situation is more complex and is treated below.
Copy of original 3GPP image for 3GPP TS 22.926, Fig. 7.2.1-1: Ambiguous territory served by NTN access
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Figure 7.2.1-1 depicts an ambiguous strip of territory between two sovereign territories T1 and T2. A UE whose subscriber is 'Amalia' is currently in this cross-border location, between T1 and T2. The NTN network operator 'BigSky' provides access to Amalia's UE. The PLMN that Amalia's UE will register with is PLMN A. The CN of PLMN A may be in T1, T2, on the NTN platform or located in a third sovereign territory.
Amalia turns on her UE. The UE registers with access provided by BigSky to PLMN A.
The access, as it straddles T1 and T2, must use frequency that is already in compliance with regulations of T1 and T2.
PLMN A determines Amalia's UE's location and determines that it is an ambiguous cross-border region.
In T1, the regulatory regime of T1 applies (e.g. for Lawful Interception.) In T2, the regulatory regime of T2 applies. In the ambiguous zone it is not clear whose regulations applies. This requires specific consideration, as in some cases, where there are access restrictions, data retention and privacy laws, mandatory encryption of traffic, etc. the regulations may not be compatible: it may be impossible to apply both the regulations of T1 and T2 at the same time. In these cases, there must be a negotiated and harmonized set of regulations between T1 and T2.
Amalia's UE, according to the regulatory framework established by T1 and T2, will have set of policies that apply to its telecommunications service. The NTN operator and the PLMN A operator (which could be the same operator) will apply those regulations.
There are three potential ways in which the UE will behave:
  1. the UE complies with regulations of both sovereign territories (where this is in accord with regulations and the regulations are not incompatible), e.g. emergency call regulations in many situations apply on both sides of the border, cross country collaboration can ensure the right assistance is provided even across the border;
  2. the UE complies with the bilateral or multilateral regulations established between the territories, e.g. the HCM agreement [16] contains a multilateral regulation on cross border interference;
  3. the UE may be in a situation in which a joint (or uniform) regulation applies even though it is in a border region, e.g. the European GPDR regulation [17] is an example of a uniform regulation that applies to all countries within the European Union, including border regions between these countries.
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7.2.2  Identified applicable regulatory requirementsWord‑p. 14

Regulatory aspects are specified in several 3GPP TSs and external to 3GPP.
UEs will apply regulations according to the regulations applicable to the sovereign territory in which the UE is positioned.

7.2.3  Potential 3GPP approachWord‑p. 14

Applying regulation properly to a UE requires detailed information regarding the UE location.

7.3  Regulatory implications for UEs in VesselsWord‑p. 14

7.3.1  DescriptionWord‑p. 14

A vessel in this clause refers to either a ship or aircraft. Vessels operate in both international and sovereign waters and airspace. At such times as the vessel is in international waters and airspace, the vessel's passenger communication must comply with the regulations of the territory with sovereignty over the location they are in.
At the same time, the vessel and - this is the point - the UEs operating in that vessel may be subject to regulations of the country of its registration. The regulatory context changes when the ship is in port or the aircraft is on the ground. There it is clearly the case that sovereign regulations of the territory apply. However, even in this case, there are some regulatory aspects that relate to the country of registration.
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7.3.2  Identified applicable regulatory requirementsWord‑p. 15

The Tokyo Convention [11] states that the laws of the country of registration of the aircraft apply to acts committed on board.
The Convention on the High Seas [12] defines the notion of a 'flag state' registration of the vessel. These laws apply to the passengers on board. From Article 6 "Ships shall sail under the flag of one State only and, save in exceptional cases expressly provided for in international treaties or in these articles, shall be subject to its exclusive jurisdiction on the high seas."
This implies that passenger communication requirements of the vessel in international regions are subject to the regulations of the country of registration.
A separate regime applies to vessels in sovereign waters and airspace. In this case, international law is more complex. The Tokyo Convention Article IV states "A Contracting State which is not the State of registration may not interfere with an aircraft in flight in order to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over an offence committed on board except in the following cases:
  1. the offence has effect on the territory of such State;
  2. the offence has been committed by or against a national or permanent resident of such State;
  3. the offence is against the security of such State;
  4. the offence consists of a breach of any rules or regulations relating to the flight or manoeuvre of aircraft in force in such State;
  5. the exercise of jurisdiction is necessary to ensure the observance of any obligation of such State under a multilateral international agreement."
Thus, it is entirely possible for an aircraft to impose communication regulations of the registered state while at the same time complying with the above convention. This is analogous to the situation of a vessel in national waters.
While an aircraft is in sovereign airspace, regulations may apply to communications by passengers' UEs. For example, over the United States of America, use of mobile telecommunications using a terrestrial radio access is not permitted. [13]
A third important scenario is the ship in port or an aircraft that has landed. In this case the sovereign regulations of the territory apply. However, there are - for telecommunications especially - certain conditions that are necessary to consider. If communications equipment on board the vessel has been certified by their registered state, these certification requirements may apply to communications rather than those of the territory where they are in port. [12]
The relevance to satellite communication arises due to the distinct regulatory implications based not only on the location of the aircraft or vessel, but also its status (is it airborne? Is it at port?)
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7.3.3  Potential 3GPP approachWord‑p. 15

It is recommended that for UEs that are operating outside of sovereign territory, the context of the operation is taken into account, i.e. the national registration of the vessel will determine the regulatory regime applying to the UEs on the vessel.
When a vessel is operating in national waters, or sovereign airspace, the regulations of the corresponding territory apply in addition to those of the national registration of the vessel for communication by UEs in that vessel.
When a vessel is in port (i.e. a harbour or an airport), the regulations of the sovereign territory apply for communication by UEs on that vessel. The notable exception to this is that the communication equipment certification of the vessel may be those of the national registration of the vessel.
It is assumed that applicable regulations will be presented to passengers and that passengers will fully comply. From a 3GPP perspective there are no additional standards requirements to identify and comply with related to maritime-specific or airspace-specific regulations for UEs on board vessels.
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7.4  Regulatory implications for UEs in Exclusion AreasWord‑p. 16

7.4.1  DescriptionWord‑p. 16

UE operations must take into account and comply with exclusion areas. A UE that does not operate in a manner that violates any exclusion area regulations in a given territory obviously is compliant with regulation. Where a UE might violate an exclusion area, it is necessary to control the operation so that the violation does not occur.

7.4.2  Identified applicable regulatory requirementsWord‑p. 16

There are several reasons why exclusion areas are defined - for example to reassign spectrum to more than one purpose depending on the location. There is therefore no attempt to exhaustively or completely treat, list or consider the purposes of exclusion areas, though some examples are given.
One example is the use of CBRS spectrum in the United States. Regulations permit use of this spectrum that respects exclusion zones in which Citizens Broadband Radio Service Devices are not allowed to operate.
Another source of such regulations are international treaties in which spectrum that is used in one country can only be employed by a neighbouring country if emissions are prevented in an exclusion zone extending (sometimes several kilometres) from the mutual border.
Scientific and research exclusion areas exist, for example, in the vicinity of some facilities used for astronomical research.
Exclusion areas where no mobile communication is allowed are not something the 3GPP System can enforce, however there are measures discussed in clauses 7.4.3 and 8.3 to restrict service.
Finally, there are areas defined for operation in some cases, and everything else that is not included is implicitly an exclusion area.
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7.4.3  Potential 3GPP approachWord‑p. 16

3GPP network shall be able to restrict radio operations in a specific geographical area.
Firstly, a UE shall not transmit using a frequency that is prohibited in this area.
Secondly a UE shall be prevented to operate if not specifically allowed (by means of a configured Geographic Area.) This has for example been added to the standard for Proximity Services (TS 23.303, clause 4.5.1.1.2.3.1, TS 23.304, clause 5.10 and TS 23.501, clause 5.3.4.1.1.)
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7.5  Regulatory implications for UEs in Extraterritorial AreasWord‑p. 16

7.5.1  DescriptionWord‑p. 16

Extraterritorial areas, as defined in clause 5.6 in this document, are regions that have no territorial claims. This does not include vessels and aircraft, whose passengers are effectively considered to be subject to the regulations of the country to which the vessel or aircraft is registered. Rather, we consider the rare case where the UE operates in an unclaimed, disputed, or otherwise extraterritorial area. This clause is added for completeness.
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7.5.2  Identified applicable regulatory requirementsWord‑p. 16

There are no regulatory requirements in extraterritorial areas.
However, it is essentially impossible for a UE to obtain service in an extraterritorial area except by means of a non-terrestrial access. Non-terrestrial access will be subject to the regulations of the sovereign territory in which the network operates.
An exception may be for UEs that represent a vessel or aircraft (i.e. not the passengers on board). In this case, the UE will have to follow regulatory requirements for maritime or aeronautical communication. For example the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) sets regulatory requirements for radiocommunication in e.g. the SOLAS (Saving Lives at Sea) convention [7]. Part of the SOLAS regulations is the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) [6]. Under the GMDSS, all passenger ships and all cargo ships over 300 gross tonnage on international voyages have to carry specified terrestrial and satellite radiocommunication equipment for sending and receiving distress signals and maritime safety information.
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7.5.3  Potential 3GPP approachWord‑p. 17

There are no 3GPP requirements or considerations that apply to a UE operating in an extraterritorial area. 3GPP standards that concern regulatory compliant network operation will apply to the UE's service, however there is no need to consider this category of service specifically. Some regulations may be difficult to apply to a UE in Extraterritorial Areas - for example emergency call service may be impossible to route to an appropriate agency.
UEs that follow maritime or aeronautical regulations may want to select specific non-terrestrial networks that provide such services, overriding e.g. PLMN selection considerations related to emergency calls. Note that requirements for Maritime Communication Services over 3GPP systems are defined in [15].
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7.6  Regulatory implications for UEs Migrating between AreasWord‑p. 17

7.6.1  DescriptionWord‑p. 17

UEs that operate in a particular regulatory context, as defined in subclauses clause 7, may move to another area, as defined in clause 5. While there may or may not be continuity of service offered in all these situations, the regulatory implications of transitioning (or 'migrating') is considered here.

7.6.2  Identified applicable regulatory requirementsWord‑p. 17

The regulatory implications of the area in which the UE operate apply to the UE at that time. Please refer to the different subsection of clause 7 of this document.
While the UE may move between areas, the UE may continue to be served by the same network. For example, if the UE is served by non-terrestrial access, the UE may pass from one sovereign territory to another, from a sovereign territory onto the high seas, etc. and continue to remain registered on the same network.
For terrestrial access, transition from one sovereign territory generally will entail a change from one PLMN operator network to another. However, there are many cases where a PLMN operator covers multiple sovereign territories with a single PLMN. In border regions, cross border coverage is unintentional. In order cases, e.g. covering small states, enclaves, island states, that are too small to have their own PLMN covering multiple sovereign territories is intentional.
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7.6.3  Potential 3GPP approachWord‑p. 17

3GPP standards support inter-PLMN handover. It is the responsibility of each network operator to comply with regulations of the sovereign territory in which they operate. This may imply that the PLMN will have to determine the location of the UE at regular intervals in order to determine if the UE is migrating from one area to another and subsequently implement the regulatory implications of that. This may imply e.g. that the PLMN will have to terminate its service to the UE, or treat it differently for regulatory services.
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