IARU Welcomes Two New Member-Societies

The IARU mem­ber-soci­eties have vot­ed to admit two new mem­bers for Kyr­gyzs­tan and Bahrain. The Ama­teur Radio Union of the Kyr­gyz Repub­lic (ARUKR) was found­ed in 1993; more infor­ma­tion is avail­able at The Bahrain Ama­teur Radio Soci­ety (BARS) was orga­nized in 2020 and replaces a pre­vi­ous asso­ci­a­tion that no longer exists. Con­grat­u­la­tions to the offi­cers and mem­bers of our newest member-societies!

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IARU Receives Gift of Domain

Andrew J. Wol­fram, KI7RYC, has donat­ed the domain to the Inter­na­tion­al Ama­teur Radio Union for non-prof­it edu­ca­tion­al use to pro­mote the ama­teur and ama­teur-satel­lite services.

In accept­ing the gift IARU Pres­i­dent Tim Ellam, VE6SH, said: “The domain offers a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty for which we are deeply grate­ful to Andrew. It is our inten­tion to devel­op a web­site that can serve as a focal point for any­one, any­where, who may be seek­ing infor­ma­tion on ama­teur radio, which is bet­ter known as ‘ham radio’ by the gen­er­al public.”

The IARU is the glob­al fed­er­a­tion of nation­al ama­teur radio orga­ni­za­tions with mem­ber-soci­eties in more than 160 coun­tries and sep­a­rate ter­ri­to­ries. Since its found­ing in 1925 the IARU has suc­cess­ful­ly defend­ed and expand­ed access to the radio spec­trum by licensed radio ama­teurs internationally.

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IARU Administrative Council Addresses Wide-Ranging Agenda in Virtual Meeting

The Admin­is­tra­tive Coun­cil (AC) of the Inter­na­tion­al Ama­teur Radio Union (IARU) held its annu­al meet­ing on 8–10 Octo­ber 2020. 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.

Orig­i­nal­ly planned to take place in Novi Sad, Ser­bia, just before the IARU Region 1 Con­fer­ence in that city, both the AC meet­ing and the con­fer­ence had to be held vir­tu­al­ly owing to covid-19 trav­el restric­tions. The vir­tu­al meet­ing for­mat had the ben­e­fit of allow­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion by addi­tion­al observers from the region­al orga­ni­za­tions and real-time pre­sen­ta­tions of reports to the AC from the spe­cial­ized IARU coor­di­na­tors and advisors.

Recent­ly appoint­ed EMC Coor­di­na­tor Dr. Mar­tin Sach, G8KDF, report­ed on what is being done on behalf of the IARU in CISPR, the Inter­na­tion­al Spe­cial Com­mit­tee on Radio Inter­fer­ence. Mar­tin and his pre­de­ces­sor, Tore Wor­ren, LA9QL, con­tin­ue to work togeth­er to address the need for rea­son­able stan­dards to lim­it the increas­ing threat of radio spec­trum pol­lu­tion from pro­lif­er­at­ing dig­i­tal devices and wire­less pow­er transmission.

IARU Bea­con Project Coor­di­na­tor Peter Jen­nings, AB6WM/VE3SUN, report­ed on the sta­tus of the HF time-shared bea­con net­work that is sup­port­ed by the North­ern Cal­i­for­nia DX Foun­da­tion and the IARU. He explained recent and planned upgrades and the many appli­ca­tions and uses being made of the network. 

Satel­lite Advi­sor Hans Blondeel Tim­mer­man, PB2T, described the work of the Satel­lite Fre­quen­cy Coor­di­na­tion Pan­el. Steps are being tak­en to address the grow­ing num­ber of non-ama­teur satel­lites using ama­teur-satel­lite spectrum.

Spe­cial Advi­sor for Emer­gency Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Rod Stafford, W6ROD, explained his work rep­re­sent­ing the IARU in the ITU Devel­op­ment Sec­tor (ITU‑D), par­tic­u­lar­ly with regard to dis­as­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and prepa­ra­tions for the World Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Devel­op­ment Con­fer­ence sched­uled for Novem­ber 2021. He high­light­ed an oppor­tu­ni­ty to pro­mote ama­teur radio in ITU‑D as a train­ing plat­form for youth.

Prepa­ra­tions are already under­way for the next World Radio­com­mu­ni­ca­tion Con­fer­ence (WRC) of the Inter­na­tion­al Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Union (ITU), cur­rent­ly expect­ed to be held in 2023. A team of some 20 IARU vol­un­teers from all con­ti­nents led by IARU Vice Pres­i­dent Ole Garpes­tad, LA2RR, is engaged in the prepara­to­ry process­es of the ITU and the region­al telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions orga­ni­za­tions (RTOs). The AC reviewed a draft of pre­lim­i­nary IARU posi­tions on the WRC-23 agen­da items of con­cern to the ama­teur and ama­teur-satel­lite ser­vices. The Action Plan for the remain­der of 2020 and 2021 was reviewed; it will be sub­ject to con­tin­u­al adjust­ment in response to the con­tin­u­ing impact of the pan­dem­ic on inter­na­tion­al travel.

In 2019 a com­mit­tee was formed to address the grow­ing pres­sure on ama­teur spec­trum allo­ca­tions, par­tic­u­lar­ly the sec­ondary allo­ca­tions, at 144 MHz and above. The com­mit­tee report­ed on its work to date in defin­ing present and future spec­trum require­ments. Addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion will be sought from the ama­teur com­mu­ni­ty on how this spec­trum is being utilized.

The AC received and dis­cussed an in-depth report from its Work­ing Group on the Future of IARU and agreed to steps for evolv­ing toward a more flex­i­ble orga­ni­za­tion and strength­ened rela­tion­ships with all stake­hold­ers in the glob­al ama­teur radio com­mu­ni­ty and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ecosystem.

An appli­ca­tion for IARU mem­ber­ship from the Ama­teur Radio Union of the Kyr­gyz Repub­lic was received and will be sub­mit­ted to the mem­ber-soci­eties for approval.

Not­ing the many ways that the glob­al ama­teur radio com­mu­ni­ty has respond­ed pos­i­tive­ly to the chal­lenges posed by the pan­dem­ic, the AC agreed to devel­op a relat­ed theme for World Ama­teur Radio Day, 18 April 2021.

AC mem­bers attend­ing the meet­ing 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, Ramón San­toyo, XE1KK, George Gorsline, VE3YV, Wis­nu Wid­ja­ja, YB0AZ, and Ken Yamamo­to, JA1CJP. Par­tic­i­pat­ing as observers were region­al exec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers Syl­vain Azar­i­an, F4GKR, Mats Espling, SM6EAN, Jose Arturo Moli­na, YS1MS, Jay Bel­lows, K0QB, and Peter Young, VK3MV, and IARU Assis­tant Sec­re­tary Joel Har­ri­son, W5ZN.

Addi­tion­al vir­tu­al meet­ings of the AC will be sched­uled in the com­ing months. It is hoped that an in-per­son meet­ing can be held in Octo­ber 2021.


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HF Digital Mode Band Plan Review

Because fre­quen­cy allo­ca­tions and ama­teur radio oper­at­ing inter­ests vary in dif­fer­ent parts of the world, the devel­op­ment of band plans – vol­un­tary guide­lines on the use of the spec­trum that is avail­able to radio ama­teurs – is a respon­si­bil­i­ty of the three IARU region­al orga­ni­za­tions. Each of the three Regions has a band plan­ning com­mit­tee to focus on this work. In recent years there have been increased efforts to bring the region­al band plans into align­ment wher­ev­er pos­si­ble. Final approval of band plan revi­sions is gen­er­al­ly giv­en by the region­al con­fer­ences of IARU mem­ber-soci­eties that are held every three years on a rotat­ing basis.

This approach to band plan­ning gen­er­al­ly has kept pace with the evo­lu­tion of ama­teur radio oper­at­ing. How­ev­er, the explo­sive growth in HF (below 30 MHz) dig­i­tal modes, par­tic­u­lar­ly FT8, has led to per­ceived over­crowd­ing of HF dig­i­tal mode band seg­ments.  Accord­ing­ly, a work­ing group has been formed con­sist­ing of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the three region­al band plan­ning com­mit­tees. This is the first time the three Regions have joined togeth­er to direct­ly coor­di­nate band plan­ning efforts.

The work­ing group has already had fruit­ful dis­cus­sions with the WSJT Devel­op­ment Group led by Joe Tay­lor, K1JT. Addi­tion­al dis­cus­sions, includ­ing with oth­er HF stake­hold­ers, will be held as part of a fun­da­men­tal review of the dif­fer­ent HF dig­i­tal modes, and how they can be best cat­e­go­rized and arranged to share the lim­it­ed spec­trum available.

The main aim is to devel­op solu­tions that reduce con­ges­tion with­in very pop­u­lar mode seg­ments while pre­vent­ing mutu­al inter­fer­ence between incom­pat­i­ble modes to the great­est extent pos­si­ble.  While the pro­posed band plan revi­sions will have to be approved by mem­ber-soci­eties in each Region, recent admin­is­tra­tive changes mean that the changes can be imple­ment­ed with­out hav­ing to wait for the region­al conferences.

Ama­teurs are encour­aged to fol­low progress through their IARU mem­ber-soci­ety and the respec­tive IARU web­sites, all of which can be reached via

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