The second CPM for WRC-19 was held in Geneva from 18 to 28 February 2019 and drew more than 1,200 participants from 107 countries. Their task was to review a 780-page (in English) Draft CPM Report and nearly 200 documents proposing changes. Among the participants were nine who attended specifically to represent the interests of the amateur and amateur-satellite services. Two represented the IARU with the remainder serving on their national delegations, but all were connected to the IARU either directly or through their national IARU member-society. The CPM attendees do not comprise the entire IARU WRC team; in all there are some two dozen volunteers from more than a dozen countries who are engaged in WRC preparation on behalf of amateur radio.
Despite the magnitude of the task, the CPM actually completed its work slightly ahead of schedule. Extensive revisions to the draft report were agreed and will be incorporated in the final CPM Report that is to be released by late April. While the technical work was conducted in English, this mammoth document must be translated into each of the other five official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.
WRC-19 Agenda Item (AI) 1.1 raises the possibility of an improvement to the six meter band in ITU Region 1, where the international Radio Regulations only include an allocation in a few African countries. Over the past three years this AI has been the focus of most of the IARU’s efforts in ITU-R WP 5A. Methods of addressing the agenda item that are outlined in the CPM Report range from a 4 MHz primary allocation shared with existing services to No Change (NOC), with three others lying between the two extremes. The advantages and disadvantages of each method are described. The WRC itself will only consider proposals that are actually offered by administrations or by regional telecommunications organizations (RTOs), which are likely to be similar to one or more of these methods. No impact on the amateur allocations in Regions 2 and 3 is anticipated.
AI 1.13 is an effort to identify spectrum in bands above 24.25 GHz that may be designated for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT). Ever since the first terrestrial service allocations above 40 GHz were made in 1979, the band 47-47.2 GHz has been allocated on a primary basis to the amateur and amateur-satellite services to the exclusion of other services. No sharing studies of the 47 GHz band, which normally would be a prerequisite to consideration of a new allocation, were conducted during the study period; however, that has not prevented a belated effort by IMT interests to justify a mobile allocation and IMT designation. Even if the 47 GHz band escapes attention at WRC-19 it may very well come up as an agenda item for WRC-23, so we will need to be prepared to defend the band in the future.
AI 1.16 covers radio local area network (RLAN) and other wireless access systems and might impact the 5650-5850 MHz [5650-5925 MHz in Region 2] amateur band. One of the proposed methods overlaps the amateur allocation above 5725 MHz and if this method is adopted by WRC-19 then there may be issues for the amateur service.
AI 9.1.6 covers Wireless Power Transmission for Electric Vehicles (WPT-EV). The current status is that it’s unlikely that changes will be made to the Radio Regulations. This situation doesn’t remove the threat to the amateur service; more likely, it means that the focus of the amateur service efforts will need to move to Regional Telecommunications Organizations and to standards organizations including CISPR (which sets emission limits).
Certain other agenda items have some potential for impacting the amateur and amateur-satellite services but are less likely to pose serious difficulties. Proposed agenda items for WRC-23 will be carefully monitored by the IARU team as they may create significant future challenges.