WRC-19 Begins with Focus on Emerging Technology Spectrum
Monday, October 28, 2019 | Comments

The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), the international treaty-making conference governing the global management of RF spectrum and satellite orbits, opened 28 October in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The conference is held every three to four years.

WRC-19 will address requirements for some of the leading-edge technological innovations set to play a pivotal role in tomorrow's digital economy with far-reaching implications for the trillion-dollar telecommunication and information, communication and technology (ICT) industry. The conference will advance many of the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs), an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) statement said.

The event will provide the tools for effective climate action, forge pathways for better access to health care, foster sustainable agricultural practices and reduce poverty and hunger, improve energy efficiency, facilitate intelligent transport systems and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, make cities smart and communities more sustainable, foster safer travel, and allow countries to participate in the digital economy by providing access to faster and more affordable broadband connectivity, especially in underserved communities.

Among the items on the agenda include facilitating new innovations in mobile technology, identifying additional frequency bands for the future development of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and further enabling the rollout of IMT-2020 networks, also known as 5G. Updating and modernizing the global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS) and expanding geographical coverage, including in polar regions, is also on the agenda.

The event aims to allocate frequency bands for high-altitude platform stations (HAPS), ¬aircraft positioned in the stratosphere for very-long-duration flights used for telecommunications, emergency/public-safety communications, intelligent transportation systems, maritime surveillance and environmental monitoring. The conference also aims to facilitate radiocommunications systems between train and trackside systems to meet the demands of a high-speed railway environment.

WRC-19 will consider additional frequencies for Earth stations in motion (ESIM) communicating from aircraft, maritime vessels and land vehicles with satellites on the geostationary orbit (GSO) and enhance the international regulatory framework to improve satellite broadband connectivity from new non-geostationary satellite systems composed of multiple, multisatellite constellations.

More than 3,500 participants from ITU's 193 member states, along with 267 observers from among ITU's 900 private sector members, as well as members of international organizations, are expected to attend the WRC-19.

“The World Radiocommunication Conference, which opened today, will address some of the leading-edge technological innovations set to play a pivotal role in tomorrow's digital economy and the future development of services, systems and technologies," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao, noting that digital inclusion provides the chance to improve the lives of millions across the world. “A transformative revolution in connectivity is in the making with immense implications for the trillion-dollar telecommunication and ICT industry and in advancing many of the United Nations SDGs."

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