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IARU Participation in ITU-Radiocommunication Consultations Called “Mutually Beneficial”


International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, has praised the value of the IARU’s participation over the years in International Telecommunication Union (ITU) International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR) and ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) study groups. CCIR was the forerunner to ITU-R. In an article, “The International Amateur Radio Union and CCIR/ITU–R” in the latest issue of ITU News Magazine (see page 55), Ellam said the IARU has been a “regular contributor” to the CCIR and ITU-R study groups and working parties on behalf of the world’s Amateur Radio community. This year marks the 90th anniversary of CCIR/ITU-R study groups; the IARU was first admitted to the work of CCIR in 1932.

“The relationship is mutually beneficial,” Ellam wrote. “The Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services offer…private citizens…the opportunity to intercommunicate and experiment with radio transmission to increase their personal knowledge and skills. Radio amateurs [provide] communications at no cost with their own equipment in the event of natural disasters. They share what they learn with one another and with the wider telecommunications community, in part through ITU–R Recommendations and Reports.”

ITU–R Study Group 5 and Working Party 5A (WP-5A) are home to both the Amateur and the Amateur-Satellite services. ITU-R Study Groups met this past week in the run-up to World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19). Working Group 5A1, chaired by Dale Hughes VK1DSH, is responsible for WRC-19 Agenda Item 1.1, which is looking into a 50-54-MHz band allocation in Region 1, harmonized with the allocations in Regions 2 and 3.

ITU-R Recommendation M.1732, “Characteristics of systems operating in the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services for use in sharing studies,” was developed by and updated in WP-5A. “The IARU also participates, as appropriate, in other Working Parties of Study Group 5,” Ellam explained.

ITU–R also maintains the standard for International Morse code characters and operational provisions, Ellam pointed out. He noted that while radio amateurs experiment with advanced digital coding and signal processing techniques, they are also the world’s largest group of regular International Morse code users.

Ellam said unwanted emissions that lead to interference — sometimes called spectrum pollution — are of growing concern to radio amateurs. “The radio spectrum is an irreplaceable natural resource,” he said. “Unintended and unnecessary radio frequency emissions from poorly maintained electric power lines and poorly designed electronic devices and systems can cause interference that degrades the capacity of the radio spectrum to support communication.”

Ellam said that as new technologies such as wireless power transmission (WPT) are developed, it’s essential that the highest possible priority be given to developing and implementing standards to prevent radio spectrum pollution.

Ellam said an increasing number of short-mission, non-geostationary satellites are being proposed “for operation in the limited amateur-satellite allocations,” inconsistent with the objectives of the Amateur-Satellite Service. He said the IARU appreciates efforts within ITU-R working parties “to identify more suitable spectrum for telemetry, tracking, and command of these satellites” at WRC‑19.

“The IARU congratulates the ITU–R Study Groups for continuing to build on the magnificent record of the CCIR in furthering the advancement of radiocommunication,” Ellam concluded.

Ellam is an invited panelist at the 90th anniversary celebration of the CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups on November 21 in Geneva.



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