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Amateur Radio Issues under Discussion in Geneva in Advance of WRC-19

11/13/2018

As part of the run up to World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19), three International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Study Group 5 (SG 5) Working Groups have been meeting this week in Geneva. ITU-R Study Groups develop the technical bases for decisions taken at WRCs and develop global standards, reports, and handbooks on radiocommunication matters. Working Group 5A1 (WG 5A-1), chaired by Dale Hughes, VK1DSH, is responsible for Amateur Radio issues. Its primary task is to develop a technical report to support the work for WRC-19 Agenda Item 1.1, considering an allocation of the band 50 – 54 MHz to the Amateur Service in ITU Region 1 (Europe and Africa) that would be in line with the 6-meter band in Regions 2 and 3. Other services, including broadcasters, utilize the 50 – 54 MHz band in Region 1. The work is in response to WRC-15 Resolution 658 to study spectrum needs in Region 1 for the Amateur Service in the 50 – 54 MHz band, and to study sharing among the Amateur Service and the mobile, fixed, radiolocation, and broadcasting services, in order to ensure protection of these services.

While a number of Region 1 countries in Africa have primary Amateur Service allocations at 50 – 54 MH, other Region 1 countries have authorized amateur use of all or parts of 50 – 52 MHz, mostly on a secondary basis.

In addition to WG 5A-1 Chairman Hughes, the larger Working Party 5A includes IARU Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; IARU Representative Dave Court, EI3IO; CEPT Coordinator Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, ARRL Representative Jonathan Siverling, WB3ERA, DARC representatives Ulrich Mueller, DK4VW, and Bernd Mischlewski, DF2ZC, and JARL representative Ken Yamamoto JA1CJP. Jose Costa (Canada/Ericsson Canada) chairs WP 5A. Siverling is the WP 5A rapporteur for ITU Region 2 (the Americas). His report, Liaison Rapporteur’s Report on Relevant Activities in Certain Countries in Region 2, emphasized the emergency communications provided by radio amateurs during this past hurricane season — including Hurricane Willa (Mexico), Hurricane Michael (Florida), the ARRL Atlantic Hurricane Season Webinar, and the link to information and news summarizing the preparations and response by the Amateur Radio Service.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Amy Sanders of the US delegation shared portions of Siverling’ s report in her contribution concerning Public Protection and Disaster Relief.

While much of the work of WP 5A and of Working Group 5A-1 in particular has been on the working document covering Amateur Service spectrum needs and sharing studies with incumbent services in the 50 – 54 MHz band, WG 5A-1 also completed a liaison statement to Working Party 1A (spectrum engineering techniques) and Working Party 3L (ionospheric propagation and radio noise) highlighting Amateur Radio concerns with respect to Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) systems, outlined in the Preliminary Draft New Report addressing issues affecting 100 – 148.5 kHz. The primary unease involves spurious and harmonic emissions — which require additional study, attenuation due to walls and building penetration levels, and separation distance between WPT devices and Amateur Radio antennas. Fears have been expressed that WPT charging for electric vehicles might cause substantial interference on the amateur bands.

A Conference Preparatory Meeting for WRC-19 is set for February. WRC-19 will take place October 28 – November 22 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

 



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