Looking Ahead to WRC-15
From an Amateur Radio perspective, the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) was very successful. According to IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, the IARU Administrative Council will meet in the next 45 days and will address the agenda items for the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15), with an eye to building the best strategy to deal with those agenda items in a way that is most favorable to the Amateur Radio Service.
WRC-15 Agenda Item 1.4 calls on the delegates “to consider possible new allocation to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis with the band 5250-5450 kHz in accordance with Resolution 649 (WRC-12).” According to Stafford, the IARU will be spending a lot of time and effort to garner support and to ensure the passage of this Agenda Item.
Agenda Item 1.1 is “to consider additional spectrum allocations to the mobile service on a primary basis and identification of additional frequency bands for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and related regulatory provisions, to facilitate the development of terrestrial mobile broadband applications, in accordance with Resolution 233 (WRC-12).”
“With seemingly everyone around the world gaining some degree of broadband access, the search for radio spectrum to satisfy the needs for mobile connectivity will become even more intense as we draw closer to WRC-15, Stafford explained. “National telecommunication authorities around the world and the ITU are in search of spectrum to fill these mobile connectivity requirements. As this agenda item develops, the IARU will be there to maintain the Amateur Radio spectrum.”
Other WRC-15 Agenda Items the IARU will be closely monitoring include the following:
Agenda Item 1.6.1: “To consider possible additional primary allocations to the fixed satellite service (Earth-to-space and space-to-Earth) of 250 MHz in the range between 10 GHz and 17 GHz in Region 1.”
Agenda Item 1.10: “To consider spectrum requirements and possible additional spectrum allocations for the mobile-satellite service in the Earth-to-space and space-to-Earth directions, including the satellite component for broadband applications, including International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), within the frequency range from 22 GHz to 26 GHz, in accordance with Resolution 234 (WRC-12).”
Agenda Item 1.18: “To consider a primary allocation to the radiolocation service for automotive applications in the 77.5-78.0 GHz frequency band in accordance with Resolution 654 (WRC-12).”
“A lot of radio amateurs are aware of the increasing use of amateur spectrum by small satellites, mainly by universities,” Stafford noted. “It is becoming an increasingly difficult situation to accommodate the number of small, non-commercial satellites within the amateur bands. These education-based satellites do not really fit within the definition of the Amateur Radio Service, but have been accommodated there. These small satellites are categorized as nanosatellites (weighing between 1-10 kg) and picosatellites (weighing less than 1 kg). The ITU is trying to deal with this issue in an orderly manner and a ‘preliminary’ WRC-18 agenda item is to consider whether these satellite operations can be accommodated in an already crowded radio spectrum. As these issues develop, the IARU will keep its Member-Societies, such as the ARRL, aware of developments.”