WRC-23 Reaches Acceptable Conclusion on 23 cm Issue

The Inter­na­tion­al Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Union’s World Radio­com­mu­ni­ca­tion Con­fer­ence (WRC) began Novem­ber 20 and con­tin­ues through Decem­ber 15, 2023 in Dubai, U.A.E, for the pur­pose of review­ing spec­trum mat­ters relat­ed to the Inter­na­tion­al Radio Reg­u­la­tions. WRC’s are held every three to four years and includes the Ama­teur and Ama­teur Satel­lite Ser­vice allocations.

The agen­da of items to be reviewed for this WRC was estab­lished at the com­ple­tion of the last con­fer­ence in 2019. Of pri­ma­ry impor­tance to the Ama­teur and Ama­teur Satel­lite Ser­vices is Agen­da Item 9.1 top­ic b to address the ama­teur ser­vices use of the 23cm band and the co-fre­quen­cy use by sev­er­al radio nav­i­ga­tion satel­lite ser­vice (RNSS) sys­tems in the 1240 – 1300 MHz band.

IARU’s work began four years ago with prepara­to­ry study in ITU‑R to address this agen­da item and has final­ly drawn to a close.   Our con­cert­ed engage­ment in the ITU‑R work­ing par­ties, study groups and WRC prepara­to­ry meet­ings ensured that the ama­teur ser­vices were prop­er­ly rep­re­sent­ed dur­ing the devel­op­ment of two pub­lished ITU‑R reports, M.2513 and M.2532. These were fol­lowed by an ITU‑R Rec­om­men­da­tion, M.2164, that formed the basis for the dis­cus­sions at WRC-23.

Dur­ing the WRC-23 delib­er­a­tions, strong posi­tions were expressed by all the par­ties involved. The result is a well-sup­port­ed com­pro­mise for a foot­note in the Radio Reg­u­la­tions regard­ing ama­teur and ama­teur satel­lite ser­vice oper­a­tion in the 1240–1300 MHz range. The foot­note reminds admin­is­tra­tions and ama­teurs of the need to pro­tect the pri­ma­ry RNSS from inter­fer­ence and pro­vides guid­ance to admin­is­tra­tions to allow both ser­vices to con­tin­ue to oper­ate in this por­tion of the spec­trum. The com­pro­mise was for­mal­ly adopt­ed by the Con­fer­ence Ple­nary on Decem­ber 8 and is not sub­ject to fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion dur­ing the final week of the WRC. The IARU team con­tin­ues its work on oth­er WRC issues includ­ing the devel­op­ment of agen­das for future conferences.

IARU Pres­i­dent Tim Ellam, VE6SH, not­ed “This is a very good result for the ama­teur ser­vices. The deci­sion reached at WRC-23 on this agen­da item makes no change to the table of allo­ca­tions nor incor­po­rates by ref­er­ence M.2164 into the Radio Reg­u­la­tions. The addi­tion of a foot­note that pro­vides guid­ance to admin­is­tra­tions in the event of inter­fer­ence to the RNSS is a good reg­u­la­to­ry out­come for ama­teurs and the pri­ma­ry users of this band.”

The WRC also agreed to sup­press the Res­o­lu­tion 774 which clos­es the issue and sat­is­fies the agen­da item.

IARU Pres­i­dent Tim Ellam, VE6SH, thanks Bar­ry Lewis, G4SJH, for his suc­cess in lead­ing IARU’s work on AI 9.1b. Look­ing on is (l‑r) WRC23 SWG4B7 Chair Dale Hugh­es, VK1DSH, IARU Vice Pres­i­dent Ole Garpes­tad, LA2RR, Tim Ellam, VE6SH, Bar­ry Lewis, G4SJH, and IARU Sec­re­tary Joel Har­ri­son, W5ZN

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