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WRC-97

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 1997)

27 October - 22 November 1997 - Geneva, Switzerland

I had the honour to be elected to chair the WRC-97 held in Geneva for a period of four weeks from 27 October to 21 November 1997. The Conference involved 2000 delegates from 142 Countries. It addressed a wide range of issues of considerable significance to the further development of communications technology and services world-wide. Of particular satisfaction to me was the recognition by the Conference that it should facilitate the emergence of new technologies, especially new satellite based technologies, and services in a timely manner.

Preparation for Radiocommunication Conferences is the prerogative of each Member State individually but this Conference was one of the first to benefit from the coordinated preparation and submission of proposals by regional geographic groupings. This was further complimented by collective preliminary consideration of issues by an “Informal Group” of representatives from key countries and regional groups prior to the Conference.

The Agenda for the Conference included a large number of issues covering a similarly broad range of different services including broadcasting satellite service planning, satellite co-ordination, regulatory revisions, space science, maritime and aeronautical services, HF Broadcasting, high altitude platform systems and, especially major global satellite systems (eg non-geostationary systems operating in low-earth orbits).

Key results achieved by the Conference were:
  • To establish a basis on which new non-GSO FSS systems can develop. The methodology was new and would be developed through further studies on sharing methodologies. The Conference confirmed the future for Ka band non-GSO FSS systems (for which WRC-95 had allocated 400MHz of spectrum in the 19 and 29 GHz bands to non-GSO FSS systems). WRC-97 allocated an additional 100 MHz in the bands 18.8-19.3 and 28.5-29.1 GHz to enable some particular major new NGSO systems to proceed through normal coordination arrangements (no pfd limits) and the waiver of the normal priority given to GSO Systems in these bands.
  • A considerable proportion of Conference time was devoted to considering revisions to the Appendix 30 and 30A BSS plans for Regions 1 and 3 (originally established in 1977).The Conference accepted a new BSS Plan primarily to recognise the needs of new countries or those which have geographically or administratively changed since 1977. It also resolved to require further studies to enable a future Conference to re-plan on the basis of increased channels per country.
  • There was a new allocation at around 47-48 GHz for “High Altitude Platform Stations”. This essentially enabled planning for this new technology to proceed subject to review of studies at WRC2000.
  • A number of other issues were addressed or resolved including the adoption of regulatory “Administrative Due Diligence” arrangements to address the continually growing problem of “paper satellites” and increasing backlogs in the work of the Space Services Department in the Radiocommunication Bureau. Many delegates considered that such an administrative approach would not solve the problem but it was at least a start in recognising the need for a solution

The Conference was considered to be successful in achieving its objective of facilitating technologies and new services and to recognise legitimate claims for equitable treatment for countries subject to changed circumstances.

​Text contributed by Mr. Roger Smith (Chairperson of the 1997 WRC)
World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 1997)

Chairman

Roger Smith (Australia)

Countries participating

142

    List of participants

    • Final List of Participants of WRC-97 (Geneva, 1997) [English/French/Spanish]
      (Multilingual)

Further Reading

  • Jones, R. "Now That WRC-97 is Over." ITU News, no. 1 (1998): 1.
    (English)
  • "Under the Baton of Maestro Roger Smith: The End of a Symphony of a Different Kind." ITU News, no. 1 (1998): 3-5.
    (English)
  • "The Challenges of Spectrum Allocation and Sharing: An Interview with Veena Rawat." ITU News, no. 1 (1998): 6-9.
    (English)
  • George, E. "The Regulatory Front." ITU News, no. 1 (1998): 9-12.
    (English)

Useful links (URL)

  • WRC-97 Photo Set on Flickr
    (Multilingual)

Library Catalogue

  • Link to ITU Library Catalogue (WRC-97)
    (Multilingual)

Newsletters

YearConference NameAcronymRadio ServicesRegionsPlace

1903

Preliminary Conference on Wireless Telegraphy (Berlin, 1903)

Mobile - MaritimeWorldBerlin

1906

International Radiotelegraph Conference (Berlin, 1906)

Mobile - MaritimeWorldBerlin

1912

International Radiotelegraph Conference (London, 1912)

Mobile - MaritimeWorldLondon

1927

International Radiotelegraph Conference (Washington, 1927)

All servicesWorldWashington, D.C.

1929

European Radiotelegraph Conference (Prague, 1929)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesPrague

1932

International Radiotelegraph Conference (Madrid, 1932)

All servicesWorldMadrid

1933

European Radio Conference (Lucerne, 1933)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesLucerne

1938

Conférence radiotéléphonique maritime (Revision des arrangements régionaux de la Mer du Nord et de la Mer Baltique) (The Hague, 1938)

Mobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesThe Hague

1938

International Radiocommunication Conference (Cairo, 1938)

All servicesWorldCairo

1939

European Broadcasting Conference (Montreux, 1939)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesMontreux

1947

International Radio Conference (Atlantic City, 1947)

All servicesWorldAtlantic City

1947

International HF Broadcasting Conference (Atlantic City, 1947)

BroadcastingWorldAtlantic City

1948

European Broadcasting Conference (Copenhagen, 1948)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesCopenhagen

1948

Regional Maritime Radio Conference (Copenhagen, 1948)

MAR-48Mobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesCopenhagen

1948

International Administrative Radio Conference for Aeronautical Communications (1st Session) (Geneva, 1948)

Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1948

International HF Broadcasting Conference (Mexico, 1948-1949)

BroadcastingWorldMexico City

1949

Special Administrative Conference for the North-East Atlantic (Geneva, 1949)

Mobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1949

Administrative Radio Conference for Region 1 (Geneva, 1949)

All servicesRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1949

Administrative Radio Conference for Region 3 (Geneva, 1949)

All servicesRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1949

North American Regional Broadcasting Conference (1st Session) (Montreal, 1949)

NARBABroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesMontreal

1949

International Telecommunication Conference for Region 2 (Washington, 1949)

All servicesRegional - Radio ConferencesWashington, D.C.

1949

Aeronautical Radio Conference for Region 2 (Washington, 1949)

Mobile - AeronauticalRegional - Radio ConferencesWashington, D.C.

1949

International Administrative Radio Conference for Aeronautical Communications (2nd Session) (Geneva, 1949)

Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1950

North American Regional Broadcasting Conference (2nd Session) (Washington, 1950)

NARBABroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesWashington, D.C.

1950

2nd International HF Broadcasting Conference (Florence-Rapallo, 1950)

BroadcastingWorldFlorence-Rapallo

1951

Conference for the Reorganization of Maritime Radiobeacons in the European Area (Paris, 1951)

Mobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesParis

1951

Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference (Geneva, 1951)

EARC-51All servicesWorldGeneva

1952

European VHF Broadcasting Conference (Stockholm, 1952)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesStockholm

1955

Baltic and North Sea Radiotelephone Conference (Gothenburg, 1955)

BNRCMobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesGothenburg

1957

International Maritime VHF Radiotelephone Conference (The Hague, 1957)

Mobile - MaritimeWorldThe Hague

1959

Administrative Radio Conference (Geneva, 1959)

All servicesWorldGeneva

1960

Special Regional Conference (Geneva, 1960)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1961

European VHF/UHF Broadcasting Conference (Special Regional Conference) (Stockholm, 1961)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesStockholm

1963

African VHF/UHF Broadcasting Conference (Geneva, 1963)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1963

Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference to allocate frequency bands for space radiocommunication purposes - Space Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 1963)

EARC-63SpaceWorldGeneva

1964

African LF/MF Broadcasting Conference (Geneva, 1964)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1964

Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference for the preparation of a revised allotment plan for the aeronautical mobile (R) service (1st session) (Geneva, 1964)

EARC-64Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1966

African LF/MF Broadcasting Conference (Geneva, 1966)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1966

Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference for the preparation of a revised allotment plan for the aeronautical mobile (R) service (2nd session) (Geneva, 1966)

EARC-66Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1967

World Administrative Radio Conference to deal with matters relating to the maritime mobile service (Geneva, 1967)

WARC MarMobile - MaritimeWorldGeneva

1971

World Administrative Radio Conference for Space Telecommunications (Geneva, 1971)

WARC-71 / WARC-STSpaceWorldGeneva

1974

Regional Administrative Conference (Regions 1 and 3) for drawing up frequency assignment plans for LF and MF broadcasting (1st session) (Geneva, 1974)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1974

World Maritime Administrative Radio Conference (Geneva, 1974)

WMARC-74Mobile - MaritimeWorldGeneva

1975

Regional Administrative Conference (Regions 1 and 3) for drawing up frequency assignment plans for LF and MF broadcasting (2nd session) (Geneva, 1975)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1977

World Administrative Radio Conference for the Planning of the Broadcasting-Satellite Service in Frequency Bands 11.7-12.2 GHz (Regions 2 and 3) and 11.7-12.5 GHz (Region 1) (Geneva, 1977)

WARC SAT-77Mobile - Maritime, BroadcastingWorldGeneva

1978

World Administrative Radio Conference on the Aeronautical Mobile (R) Service (Geneva, 1978)

WARC-Aer2Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1979

World Administrative Radio Conference (Geneva, 1979)

WARC-79All servicesWorldGeneva

1980

Regional Administrative MF Broadcasting Conference (Region 2) (1st session) (Buenos Aires, 1980)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesBuenos Aires

1981

Regional Administrative MF Broadcasting Conference (Region 2) (2nd session) (Rio de Janeiro, 1981)

CARR-2BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesRio de Janeiro

1982

Regional Administrative Conference for FM Sound Broadcasting in the VHF band (Region 1 and certain countries concerned in Region 3) (1st session) (Geneva, 1982)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1983

Regional Administrative Conference for the Planning of the Broadcasting-Satellite Service in Region 2 (Geneva, 1983)

SAT-83 or SAT-R2Broadcasting, SpaceRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1983

World Administrative Radio Conference for the Mobile Services (Geneva, 1983)

WARC MOB-83Mobile - Land, Mobile - Maritime, Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1984

Regional Administrative Conference for FM Sound Broadcasting in the VHF band (Region 1 and certain countries concerned in Region 3) (2nd session) (Geneva, 1984)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1984

World Administrative Radio Conference for the Planning of the HF Bands Allocated to the Broadcasting Service (1st session) (Geneva, 1984)

WARC HFBC-84BroadcastingWorldGeneva

1985

Regional Administrative Radio Conference for the Maritime Mobile Service and the Aeronautical Radionavigation Service in certain parts of the MF band in Region 1 (Geneva, 1985)

Mobile - Maritime, Mobile - AeronauticalRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1985

Regional Administrative Radio Conference for the Planning of Frequencies for Maritime Radiobeacons in the European Maritime Area (Geneva, 1985)

Mobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1985

Regional Administrative Radio Conference of the Members of the Union in the African Broadcasting Area to abrogate certain parts of the Geneva Agreement (1963) (Geneva, 1985)

GE85BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1985

Regional Administrative Radio Conference of the Members of the Union in the European Broadcasting Area to revise certain parts of the Stockholm Agreement (1961) (Geneva, 1985)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1985

World Administrative Radio Conference on the use of the geostationary-satellite orbit and the planning of the space services utilizing it (1st session) (Geneva, 1985)

WARC ORB-85SpaceWorldGeneva

1986

Regional Administrative Radio Conference to establish a plan for the broadcasting service in the band 1605-1705 kHz in Region 2 (1st session) (Geneva, 1986)

RARC BC-R2(1)BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1986

Regional Administrative Radio Conference for the planning of VHF/UHF television broadcasting in the African broadcasting area and neighbouring countries (1st session) (Nairobi, 1986)

RARC AFBC(1)BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesNairobi

1987

World Administrative Radio Conference for the Planning of the HF Bands Allocated to the Broadcasting Service (2nd session) (Geneva, 1987)

WARC HFBC-87BroadcastingWorldGeneva

1987

World Administrative Radio Conference for the Mobile Services (Geneva, 1987)

WARC MOB-87Mobile - Land, Mobile - Maritime, Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1988

Regional Administrative Radio Conference to establish a plan for the broadcasting service in the band 1605-1705 kHz in Region 2 (2nd session) (Rio de Janeiro, 1988)

RARC BC-R2(2)BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesRio de Janeiro

1988

World Administrative Radio Conference on the use of the geostationary-satellite orbit and the planning of the space services utilizing it (2nd session) (Geneva, 1988)

WARC ORB-88SpaceWorldGeneva

1989

Regional Administrative Radio Conference for the Planning of VHF/UHF Television Broadcasting in the African Broadcasting Area and Neighbouring Countries (2nd session) (Geneva, 1989)

RARC AFBC-2BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1989

Regional Administrative Conference of the Members of the Union in the African Broadcasting Area to abrogate the Regional Agreement for the African Broadcasting Area (Geneva, 1963) (Geneva, 1989)

GE89BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1992

World Administrative Radio Conference for Dealing with Frequency Allocations in Certain Parts of the Spectrum (Málaga-Torremolinos, 1992)

WARC-92All servicesWorldMalaga-Torremolinos

1993

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 1993)

WRC-93All servicesWorldGeneva

1995

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 1995)

WRC-95All servicesWorldGeneva

1997

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 1997)

WRC-97All servicesWorldGeneva

2000

World Radiocommunication Conference (Istanbul, 2000)

WRC-2000All servicesWorldIstanbul

2003

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2003)

WRC-03All servicesWorldGeneva

2004

Regional Radiocommunication Conference for planning of the digital terrestrial broadcasting service in parts of Regions 1 and 3, in the frequency bands 174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz

RRC-04BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

2006

Regional Radiocommunication Conference for planning of the digital terrestrial broadcasting service in parts of Regions 1 and 3, in the frequency bands 174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz (2nd session) (Geneva, 2006)

RRC-06BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

2006

Regional Radiocommunication Conference for the revision of the Stockholm 1961 Agreement, in the frequency bands 174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz (Geneva, 2006)

RRC-06-EURBroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

2006

Regional Radiocommunication Conference for the revision of the Geneva 1989 Agreement, in the frequency bands 174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz (Geneva, 2006)

RRC-06-AFRBroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

2007

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2007)

WRC-07All servicesWorldGeneva

2012

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2012)

WRC-12All servicesWorldGeneva