WRC-19 Defines New Satellite, Rail, Marine Communications Capabilities
Friday, November 22, 2019 | Comments

The World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) concluded 22 November as agreements signed by some 3,400 delegates from around 165 member states were included in the Final Acts of the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the global use of RF spectrum and satellite orbits.

WRC-19 identified additional globally harmonized (millimeter wave) frequency bands for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), including IMT-2020, otherwise known as 5G mobile, facilitating diverse usage scenarios for enhanced mobile broadband, massive machine-type communications and ultra-reliable and low-latency communications. This will unlock a host of applications facilitating intelligent transport systems (ITS), creating smart cities and making communities more sustainable.

At the same time, protections were accorded to the Earth-exploration satellite service (EESS) as well as meteorological and other passive services in adjacent bands, such as the space research service (SRS) to ensure that space-based monitoring of the earth and its atmosphere remain unhindered. Satellite services supporting meteorology and climatology that aim to safeguard human life and natural resources will be protected from harmful RF interference, as will systems used by radio astronomers for deep space exploration. Steps were also taken to ensure that radio astronomy stations would be protected from any harmful radio interference from other space stations or satellite systems in orbit.

"WRC-19 paves the way for new, more innovative ways to connect the world using both terrestrial and space-based communication technologies," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. "As leading-edge broadband technology manifests itself in new industrial developments, people in the remotest areas will also get better and more affordable access.

A resolution on railway radiocommunication systems to facilitate the deployment of railway train and trackside systems was approved. The resolution will help meet the needs of a high-speed railway environment in particular for train radio applications for improved railway traffic control, passenger safety and security for train operations.

The event also expanded coverage and enhanced capabilities for Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).

"The hard-won agreements at WRC-19 will favorably impact the lives of billions of people around the world, creating a digital landscape for sustainable growth and development," said Mario Maniewicz, director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. "The achievements of WRC-19 in enabling new communication technologies and the protection of existing services will be reflected in the continuous growth of the trillion dollar telecommunication and ICT industry."

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