Frequency allocation, international regulatory framework top discussions ahead of WRC-19

Regulators, regional and international organizations, industry players, operators and manufacturers gathered in Geneva on 21-22 November at the first in a series of inter-regional workshops hosted by ITU in preparation for ITU’s World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19), to be held from 28 October to 22 November 2019.

The workshop, which was attended by more than 266 participants from 57 administrations, facilitated the multi-stakeholder exchange of views on the preparatory studies and priorities for WRC-19. This included collaborative discussions on the international regulatory framework for the next decade and more of the frequency spectrum allocations for all radiocommunication services.

WRC-19 is being recognized as a future milestone event for radiocommunications. With the progress of wireless technologies and the evolution of spectrum requirements, one key outcome of WRC-19 will be the modification of the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radiofrequency spectrum at the global level.

The number and complexity of issues expected to be addressed by WRC-19, and the need to resolve them through consensus of all governments, requires that all opportunities be taken to exchange views among all spectrum stakeholders in relation to the preparation of the conference. The multi-stakeholder WRC-19 preparation workshops being hosted by ITU have been designed to support this important participatory process.

The discussions that took place this month in Geneva benefitted from the participation of the regional groups – Asia-Pacific Telecommunity, Arab Spectrum Management Group, African Telecommunications Union, European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations, Inter-American Telecommunication Commission, Regional Commonwealth in the Field of Communications – and that of other United Nations agencies, international organizations and additional industry stakeholders.

“The WRC preparatory process highlights the great spirit of international cooperation that marks the ITU tradition of consensus building," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “It has proved to be an increasingly successful mechanism for reaching agreement within and between the various regional groups since 1995.”

“The very active development of IMT 2020 (5G) is putting a lot of pressure on manufacturers and operators to start technology developments and network deployments ahead of WRC-19 decisions. I am glad to see that ITU is responsive to this situation by working on achieving an early consensus towards global harmonization of IMT frequency bands, which is essential to produce the economies of scale that will benefit all countries for the rapid development of wireless broadband,” said François Rancy, Director of ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau.

The workshop also discussed new frequency allocations for High Altitude Platforms (HAPS) and non-geostationary satellite systems, intelligent transport systems and railways communications, the regulatory aspects of the aeronautical, maritime, meteorological, science and amateur services.

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