In November preparations continued for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19). Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Study Groups and their Working Parties develop global standards, reports, and handbooks on radiocommunication matters and develop the technical bases for decisions taken at WRCs. The IARU was present and active in two meetings in Geneva of direct relevance to the amateur service.
Study Group 5 is responsible for terrestrial services. Within its Working Party 5A, Working Group 5A1 (WG 5A-1), chaired by Dale Hughes, VK1DSH, is responsible for amateur radio issues. Currently its primary task, to be completed by May 2019, is to develop a technical report on WRC-19 Agenda Item 1.1, a possible allocation of the frequency band 50-54 MHz to the amateur service in Region 1. The report responds to Resolution 658 (WRC-15) and is a study of the spectrum needs of the amateur service in the band in Region 1 (Europe, Africa, the Middle East and northern Asia) as well as of sharing between the amateur service and the existing mobile, fixed, radiolocation, and broadcasting services to ensure protection of these services. For the amateur service, the desired result at WRC-19 is an allocation in ITU Region 1 broadly similar to the existing allocations in Regions 2 and 3.
A number of countries in Africa have primary amateur service allocations at 50-54 MHz. Administrations in other Region 1 countries have authorised amateur use in all or parts of the 50–52 MHz frequency band, mostly on a nationally allocated secondary basis with the additional proviso that harmful interference shall not be caused to incumbent services.
In addition to advancing the report to the level of a Preliminary Draft New Report WG 5A-1 completed a liaison statement to Working Party 1A (spectrum engineering techniques) highlighting concerns with respect to Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) systems, outlined in the Preliminary Draft New Report addressing issues affecting 100-148.5 kHz. The major concern involves spurious and harmonic emissions, which require additional study, attenuation due to walls and building penetration levels, and in addition the separation distance between WPT devices and amateur radio antennas. Similar fears have also been expressed to the relevant ITU Study Groups concerning high power WPT charging of electric vehicles and the substantial interference potential of harmonic and spurious emissions falling within the MF and HF amateur bands.
Working Party 1B met with the objective of moving towards a final version of the report on the impact of Wireless Power Transmission for Electric Vehicles. The meeting was the first on this subject to come to a degree of detailed discussion about protection of radio services from spurious/harmonic emissions from WPT systems.
Detailed discussions on a separate report being prepared on “unwanted emissions” from WPT was deferred to the June 2019 meeting of WP1A (whose role it is to consider that matter) but the main report will contain clear statements of the protection requirements for radio services including the amateur service.
The United Kingdom helpfully took the lead in restructuring elements of the draft Report and contributors were invited to restructure their input documents to reflect the revised structure and the decision not to reference inapplicable standards and limits in other areas.
The IARU input on the impact of harmonic and other spurious emissions from WPT-EV systems was accepted for inclusion in the Report. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC also made detailed inputs on a number of issues associated with WPT and their inputs were also accepted for inclusion in the Report.
Work was undertaken to present a clearer picture of the typical WPT system performance, from which it became clear that more information was needed about system performance at some frequencies. IARU hopes that this will be addressed before the next meeting in June 2019. It was noted that some countries had not fully engaged in the discussion about spurious emissions and other aspects of WPT systems performance.
Work continued throughout the meeting to reshape the Report, resulting in a new Working Document which was approved by WP 1B and is hoped to be finalised and elevated to a Draft New Report (DNR) at the next meeting.
The IARU is a Sector Member of ITU-R. At the meetings of WG 5A-1 and WP 5A the IARU representatives were Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, and Region 1 Spectrum & Regulatory Chairman Dave Court, EI3IO. Region 1 Secretary Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, is CEPT Coordinator for Agenda Item 1.1 and served on the Netherlands delegation. Serving on their national delegations on behalf of their national IARU member-societies were WG 5A-1 Chairman Dale Hughes, VK1DSH (WIA), Jonathan Siverling, WB3ERA (ARRL), Ulrich Mueller, DK4VW, and Bernd Mischlewski, DF2ZC (DARC), and Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP (JARL). At WP 1B the IARU was represented by Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, and the US delegation included WB3ERA.
An ITU Conference Preparatory Meeting for WRC-19 is set for 18-28 February 2019 in Geneva. WRC-19 will take place from 28 October to 22 November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
IARU Administrative Council Focuses on WRC-19 Preparation, Succession Planning
The Administrative Council (AC) of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) met on 8 and 9 September 2018 and again briefly on 12 September in Seoul, Republic of Korea, immediately prior to and during the IARU Region 3 Conference. The AC is responsible for the policy and management of the IARU and consists of the three IARU international officers and two representatives from each of the three IARU regional organizations.
With the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) rapidly approaching, the efforts of two dozen IARU volunteers to defend amateur radio’s frequency allocations against commercial pressures and to seek worldwide harmonization of the 50-54 MHz band are reaching a critical stage. Coordination of this team is an ongoing task leading up to the ITU Conference Preparatory Meeting in Geneva in February 2019 and to WRC-19 itself in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, in October and November. The work involves presenting the IARU positions on the WRC-19 agenda items to national administrations through the IARU member-societies and actively participating in the ongoing preparations being done in regional telecommunications organizations and the ITU Radiocommunication Sector. The potential for crippling levels of interference to radiocommunications from High Power Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) for electric vehicles is high on the list of concerns.
With these challenges in mind the AC reviewed its strategic plan to develop support for amateur spectrum allocations and approved the action plan for implementation during the remainder of 2018 and 2019. To resource the plan, the IARU budget for the years 2019-2021 was reviewed and adopted. The budget is based upon anticipated financial contributions from the IARU International Secretariat (IS) and the three regional organizations and reflects ongoing efforts to minimize expenses while maintaining the essential activities for achievement of the plan. The AC also strengthened its policy regarding radio spectrum pollution.
The IARU Constitution and Administrative Council policies define the process for filling the positions of IARU President and Vice President for five-year terms. Member-societies and the three IARU regional organizations are invited to participate in identifying qualified candidates for consideration in a consultative process between the AC and the member-society acting as the International Secretariat (IS), currently the ARRL. This process for the terms of office beginning on 9 May 2019 was initiated at the 2017 meeting of the AC and completed at the 2018 meeting. ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, formally reported that there was consensus that the incumbent President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, and Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, should be nominated for an additional term. These nominations are being submitted to the IARU member-societies for ratification by mail vote in this issue of the Calendar.
Looking to the future, the AC recognized the importance and urgency of succession planning and assigned it an immediate and high priority. Individuals with the qualifications, skills, and willingness to fill volunteer technical and leadership positions must be identified on an ongoing basis in order to maintain the availability of essential personnel resources. Training must be provided so that the volunteer team can function effectively in a rapidly changing regulatory environment.
The growth of amateur radio, especially how to attract young people, is a common concern of IARU member-societies. The AC will set out to identify those barriers to growth that the IARU can assist member-societies to address and will encourage member-societies to share successful strategies for growth with one another.
The AC noted with pleasure that considerable progress has been made to develop consistent branding across the IARU and its three regional organizations and thanked the team that has been working on a common design for the four websites. The design was agreed and plans are underway for implementation in the coming months.
The IARU policy on QSL bureaus has been under review for several years. While the IARU QSL bureau system continues to be important for many member-societies and individual amateurs, escalating expenses represent a growing financial burden for others. Unwanted and undeliverable QSL cards are increasingly recognized as an environmental concern. A substitute policy has been developed and was circulated to member-societies by the IARU Regions on 1 October, prior to implementation on 1 January 2019.
In addition to the ITU Radiocommunication Sector the IARU is engaged with the Development Sector, particularly with regard to emergency communication. Additional areas of continuing activity that represent significant effort by volunteer coordinators, advisors, and others include amateur satellite frequency coordination, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and the International Beacon Project. Reports from these coordinators and advisors were received with thanks. The AC agreed to maintain its modest annual financial support of the Beacon Project.
The AC noted the actions taken by the IS and the regions to address the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union and agreed to review its implications on an ongoing basis.
After consideration of several possible alternatives the theme for World Amateur Radio Day, 18 April 2019, was confirmed as “Celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society.”
Attending the meetings were IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ; regional representatives Don Beattie, G3BJ, Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM, Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK, Gopal Madhavan, VU2GMN, and Peter Young, VK3MV. Present as observers were regional executive committee members Jay Bellows, K0QB, Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP, and Don Wallace, ZL2TLL.
The next in-person meeting of the AC is scheduled to be held immediately prior to the IARU Region 2 Conference in Lima, Peru at the end of September 2019. Virtual AC meetings will be held by teleconference as required.
Summary Records of the meetings of the AC are available at: http://www.iaru.org/administrative-council-meetings.html.
Proposals to Ratify Nominations of IARU President and Vice President
The five-year term of office of IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, and Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, ends on 9 May 2019. The IARU Constitution provides that “…no later than 12 months prior to the expiration of the term of office of the President [and Vice President] then in office, the International Secretariat shall initiate discussions with the Administrative Council to identify suitably qualified candidates available to serve as President. The nomination of a single candidate shall be made by the International Secretariat, but not until agreement has been reached between the International Secretariat and the Administrative Council that the candidate is suitably qualified.”
The consultative process was initiated at the September 2017 meeting of the AC. Member-societies then were invited to send their regional organizations the names and qualifications of any individuals they wish to be considered for either position. No names other than those of the two incumbents were submitted. At the September 2018 meeting of the AC the process was concluded as described above.
The incumbents have issued the following statement regarding their nominations:
Statement by IARU Officers
Tim Ellam VE6SH/G4HUA and Ole Garpestad LA2RR
Both Ole and I have been asked to stand for another term as IARU Officers. This is obviously a significant honour for both of us, but one we had not contemplated after already serving two terms. I think we can safely say that in 2009 we did not envision doing more than two terms, but as we draw closer to the next election cycle there are several issues that both of us have taken into consideration in agreeing to be candidates for the 2019-2024 term.
First and foremost, we enjoy working with the IARU team and the member-societies for the protection of the Amateur Radio Services. At the commencement of our first term we wanted to diversify the way IARU is represented at the ITU and regional telecommunications organization (RTO) level and we have worked hard to put together a multi-national and skilled team to do just that. The officers have always worked as a team rather than with individual roles and for the most part we have had success over the past ten years. While the workload is at times heavy, by working as a team we have been able to divide the work so it is not an undue burden as it might have been in the past when only one or two individuals were attending meetings. In short, we are both happy and enthused to take on a third term.
Second, the IARU is facing a number of challenges that we would like to see through to completion. This includes our representation at ITU as it continues to evolve, making the IARU and the regional organizations more cohesive and working as a single entity for member societies, “rebranding” IARU to ensure it can continue its work and at the same time be more relevant to member-societies and individual amateurs, maintaining our fee exempt status at ITU and RTOs, dealing with future financial challenges and to make sure the IARU is on a good financial footing for our work going forward. The international regulatory framework is changing (as are the Amateur Services) and we want to make sure IARU has and will respond to such challenges.
Third, one of the issues the officers have addressed over the previous terms is to work more efficiently within our budget. To that end, we have been very careful in selecting which international meetings to attend, the number of individuals we can send to such meetings and narrowing what issues are important for the Amateur Services. We have tightened our expense reimbursement policy while at the same time ensuring our volunteers who attend meetings are not “out of pocket” for their expenses. Some member-societies have contributed directly to the costs of sending their representatives to IARU meetings and several of our volunteers do not claim for all of the expenses they might be entitled to. All of this has served to make IARU run more effectively and well within our yearly budget, which of course is funded by both the International Secretariat and the member-societies through our three regions.
Fourth, we recognize that succession planning for IARU and member-societies is challenging. We must make sure we have trained and have ready individuals who can take on positions within the IARU structure, not only at the officer level, but in our matrix and at the regional level. Both of us, and the AC, have committed to developing possible replacements for all the key IARU positions. Amateur Radio is changing. We need to make sure we have a different generation ready to meet the challenges facing the Amateur Radio Services in the future. A third term for the present officers will clearly be our last.
We are humbled by the support of our member-societies, the Administrative Council, the IARU Regional representatives, the International Secretariat and many individual amateurs in encouraging us to continue our work. After much discussion Ole and I have agreed to let our names stand for ratification for the next term.
Both of us would be pleased to discuss our motivation for this decision with any member-society if you so desire (either through Email or Skype).
We look forward to your support over the next term.
[end of statement]
The following two proposals are offered for the consideration of the member-societies:
Proposal No. 257 The International Secretariat, following consultation with the Administrative Council and with the unanimous concurrence of the Council, nominates Timothy S. Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA for a five-year term of office as President, IARU, commencing on 9 May 2019. This nomination is offered to the member-societies for ratification, in accordance with Article III, paragraph 3(e), of the IARU Constitution.
Proposal No. 258 The International Secretariat, following consultation with the Administrative Council and with the unanimous concurrence of the Council, nominates Ole Garpestad, LA2RR for a five-year term of office as Vice President, IARU, commencing on 9 May 2019. This nomination is offered to the member-societies for ratification, in accordance with Article III, paragraphs 3(e) and 5, of the IARU Constitution.
Member-societies will find vote sheets for Proposals No. 257 and No. 258 accompanying this Calendar. The closing date for receipt by the International Secretariat of votes on these proposals is five months after the date of this Calendar, or 3 May 2019. Please note that votes received after this date cannot be counted.
The preferred method for return of a vote sheet is by scanned email attachment to email@example.com. Return by fax to +1 860 594 0259 or by mail to IARU International Secretariat, PO Box 310905, Newington, CT 06131-0905 USA are also acceptable.
IARU Welcomes Member-Society for St. Kitts & Nevis
On 28 May the IARU member-societies completed voting on the admission of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Amateur Radio Society (SKNAARS) as the representative of St. Kitts & Nevis. SKNAARS does not claim to represent Anguilla, which is already represented in the IARU by the Anguilla Amateur Radio Society; the inclusion of Anguilla in the name of SKNAARS dates to an earlier time. With 56 affirmative votes required for admission there were 62 affirmative votes cast, with no dissenting votes. SKNAARS thus became a member of the IARU and of IARU Region 2.
Additional information about SKNAARS is available at its website, www.sknaars.com.
David Sumner, K1ZZ