WRC-12 Delegates Place Possible 5 MHz Allocation on Agenda for Next WRC
One of the responsibilities of each WRC delegation is to set the agenda for the next WRC. WRC-12 delegates approved an Amateur Radio-related agenda item for the upcoming WRC-15: To consider the possibility of making an allocation of an appropriate amount of spectrum, not necessarily contiguous, to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis within the band 5250-5450 kHz (see below for the complete text of the resolution). This will be Agenda Item 1.4 at WRC-15.
“It is always a challenge to have items placed on the agenda for future WRCs,” IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, told the ARRL. “I am pleased that we were successful in having an Agenda Item for a potential allocation at 5 MHz on a secondary basis. There will be much work to do over the next ITU study group cycle. Much appreciation is owed to the IARU and the national delegation teams in Geneva for their hard work on this issue.”
According to ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, the original 5 MHz proposal came from Cuba. “The IARU team worked hard to line up support,” he explained. “The factor that worked most in our favor was that at WRC-07, a proposal for a 5 MHz agenda item for WRC-12 failed to gain enough support, so there was a feeling that the Amateur Service deserved better treatment this time around. We did have active support from a number of administrations in Latin America which helped a lot, but a lot of others also had to agree to get it on the agenda. The coordinators of future Agenda Items on behalf of the regional telecommunications organizations, such as CITEL and CEPT, eventually agreed on a package of Agenda Items that included ours.”
Agenda Item 1.4 focuses primarily on using the proposed allocation for emergency communications. The resolution noted that “communications in the HF bands that are allocated to the Amateur Service play a major role in work to mitigate catastrophes and in the delivery of communications in support of relief operations in areas where the telecommunication infrastructure is weak or has collapsed,” and that “radiocommunication in the HF bands is dependent on propagation factors, with the result that frequencies in different bands have to be used to maintain stable communication for a relatively sustained period of time, with frequency changes in the case of communications with different correspondents located at very different distances.”
The band 5250-5450 kHz is allocated to the fixed and mobile services, except aeronautical mobile, on a primary basis. The proposal maintains that “an allocation of an appropriate amount of spectrum, not necessarily contiguous, to the Amateur Service at around 5300 kHz would be adequate to better satisfy its needs associated with use for providing communications in disaster situations and during relief operations.”
Work on this Agenda Item will begin next week at the Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM), also in Geneva.