ITU Home Page International Telecommunication Union Français | Español 
  Print Version 
ITU Home Page
Home : Newsroom : WRC-03
WRC-03 Highlights N° 1

 9 June — 4 July 2003

Geneva, 13 June 2003 N° 1
Issue N° 2

Ambitious Agenda Greets WRC-2003 Delegates

The International Telecommunication Union’s World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 opened on Monday 9 June to an unprecedented work schedule. More than 2 500 delegates will spend until 4 July addressing an agenda that includes 48 items.

The large number of agenda items reflects the technological development in the field of radiocommunications, which has resulted in a growing range of services and applications that includes, among others, aircraft and maritime navigation, wireless telephony, satellite broadcasting, scientific research, and earth exploration. These services and applications have increased the demand for radio frequencies and geostationary satellite orbit positions.

The World Radiocommunication Conference is convened every three to four years and plays a vital role in updating the allocation and use of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. It also facilitates international coordination to avoid harmful interference between the services as well as ensuring equitable access to the radio-frequency spectrum, which is a limited natural resource belonging to all of humanity.

Priority Placed on Efficiency

Dr. Veena Rawat of Canada was named Chairman of WRC-03. the first women to Chair a World Radioconference. Dr Rawat told delegates that that the "sheer size of the agenda, makes it imperative that we work with unprecedented efficiency." She asked delegates to keep in mind three words, "cooperation, consensus and conservation of time and energy." She was pleased to note that, "consensus of a significant number of issues has already developed as a result of the preparatory work, and from cooperation in various regional and inter-regional forums."

Given the time constraints she asked delegates to "make progress on the issues very early so that we can devote as much time as possible to the remaining matters." She reminded delegates that the decisions they would take during the conference "will further promote connectivity, directly affect the lives of our citizens and have important economic impacts in each of our countries."

The need to think beyond political or personal agendas was stressed by Mr Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General of ITU, who asked delegates in their deliberations to take into account the benefits for the radio community as a whole and for all people in the world. "Let us make good compromises and good decisions."

In addition to working as efficiently as possible, Mr Utsumi added, "it is equally, if not more important, to discuss measures for improving future conference processes." He noted his belief that the cost of recent conferences had not been proportionate to the benefits derived and he requested delegates to keep in mind some simple questions that would need to be answered when WRC-03 concludes on 4 July. The questions posed were:

  • Will you be able to explain to your colleagues and bosses what was derived from the conference and how the decisions taken will improve our lives?
  • Will all the efforts that were made before and during the conference be balanced by benefits derived from its decisions?

Mr Utsumi concluded by telling delegates that he and the ITU staff would work diligently with them to ensure, "that when the four weeks are over everybody in this room will be able to go home satisfied and with something to be proud of."

Message Received

The need for efficiency was also reinforced by the Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau, Mr Valery Timofeev, who noted the size and scope of an agenda, "that will test all of our skills in being able to consider 2 500 individual proposals from Member States and within less than four weeks to reach conclusions and decide on Final Acts to reflect those conclusions."

It was a message that seems to be respected by the delegates, who expressed their commitment to the objectives of the WRC-03 by completing discussions on a number of items, which will be brought forth to subsequent plenary meetings for approval.

These agenda items included:

  • 1.18 - which dealt with primary frequency allocations to the fixed satellite service 17.3 – 17.7 GHz for Region 1, taking into account the primary allocations to various services in all three Regions.
  • 1.19 - which dealt with misapplication of specific conformance requirements for non-geostationary satellite orbits and fixed satellite services
  • 1.20 – which will consider additional allocations on a worldwide basis for the non-GSO MSS with service links operating below 1GHz
  • 1.27 – some elements dealing with plans for Broadcast Satellite Services (BSS)
  • 1.39 which examined the frequency spectrum requirements in the fixed-satellite bands below 17GHz for telemetry, tracking and telecommand of fixed-satellite service networks

Conference Structure

The following committees have been struck in order to manage the agenda of the Conference. The terms of reference for the Committees have been drawn up within the framework of the basic texts of the Union, the Conference agenda and in light of experience at previous conferences.

Committee 1 Steering Committee – Chairman Dr V Rawat, Canada
Committee 2 Credentials Committee – Chairman Mr J Edane Nkwele, Gabon
Committee 3 Budget – Chairman Mr B Gracie, Canada
Committee 4 Specified Agenda items – Chairman Mr E George, Germany
Committee 5 Specified Agenda items – Chairman Mr A Jamieson, New Zealand
Committee 6 Appendices 30,A,B – Chairman Mr K Arasteh, Islamic Republic of Iran
Committee 7 Future Agenda and Work Programme – Chairman Mr A Nalbandian, Armenia
Committee 8 Editorial – Chairman Mr L Bourgeat, France

The Issues of WRC-2003

The radiocommunication issues to be dealt with at WRC-03 were grouped during the Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) as the following:

  1. Radionavigation (terrestrial and satellite) and radiolocation issues
  2. Mobile, mobile satellite and space science services
  3. Fixed-satellite and broadcasting services
  4. Fixed and Fixed-satellite services (incorporating High Altitude Platform Services –HAPS)
  5. Maritime mobile, amateur, amateur satellite and broadcasting services in medium frequency and high frequency bands
  6. Equitable access to satellite orbit and frequency resources

Proposals and Positions Put Forth

The work of the Committees during its first week focused on the introduction of proposals and documents by the various committees.

A number of substantive issues to be dealt with have been identified by the following Committees:

Committee 4

  • The issue of Earth stations on board vessels will be considered. These earth stations operate with fixed satellite service networks but with a mobile capability by virtue of their use on ships, and can provide high-speed data, voice and video applications. This has created some regulatory challenges for some administrations.
  • The way will be paved for digital HF (short wave) services by introducing new technologies and creating new criteria for compatibility with existing services. As well, a realignment of available spectrum and possible additional spectrum for HF broadcasting will be discussed in order to improve spectrum sharing between amateur radio and HF broadcasting systems
  • Amateur radio licensing requirements will be reviewed and could possibly include doing away with the need for Morse Code as a compulsory prerequisite.
  • Consideration of measures to address interference to HF maritime and aeronautical mobile services.
  • Addressing the need to improve the efficiency of satellite network filings.
  • Regulatory and technical provisions for satellite networks using Highly Eliptical Orbits (HEO).
  • Sharing considerations between non-geostationary satellite orbits (GSO) BSS (sound) in some Region 3 countries with other services.
  • Issues dealing with protection of radars from fixed satellite services (FSS).
  • Issues dealing with new allocations for mobile satellite services.
  • Consideration of allocations for earth exploration satellite services to monitor forest degradation, polar ice melting and other environmental situations.

Committee 5

  • Issues being dealt with concern the allocation of frequencies for air navigation systems, airport landing systems, protection for radionavigation satellite systems (GPS, Galileo and Glonass), and radiolocation (radar) protection.
  • Globally and regionally harmonized bands for future advanced solutions to meet the needs of public protection agencies in emergency situations and for disaster relief etc.
  • New allocations for various services in the range 5150-5725 MHz (such as Wireless LAN’s and Fixed Wireless Access systems for high-speed Internet access, radiolocation, earth exploration satellite services) are being proposed. The challenge will be to accommodate requests for new allocations while at the same time not compromising existing services.
  • There is a need to recognize a growing demand for two-way broadband communication by passengers and operators of commercial and business aircraft. A number of technical and regulatory approaches to meeting the demand for Aeronautical Mobile Satellite Services in the 14-14.5 GHz band will be considered

Committee 6

  • Will deal with technical and regulatory issues associated with plans for satellite services, both BSS and FSS (appendices 30, 30A, 30B of the Radio Regulations)

Committee 7

  • Identifying possible agenda items for future conferences. Among these are:
  • The future development of IMT-2000 systems and systems beyond IMT-2000 will be considered. IMT-2000 systems are third generation mobile systems, which provide access to a wide range of telecommunication services, supported by the fixed telecommunication networks, such as PSTN, ISDN and IP, and to other services, which are specific to mobile users. Their features include, among others, a high degree of commonality of design, worldwide roaming capability and the ability to provide multimedia applications within a wide range of services and terminals.
  • Technical and regulatory requirements of terrestrial wireless interactive multimedia applications.
  • Spectrum requirements for wideband aeronautical telemetry systems.
  • Allocations in frequency bands above 275 GHz.

A more complete background document on the issues under consideration is available here.

Not an official document — For information only
Issue N° 2


Top - Feedback - Contact Us - Copyright © ITU 2005 All Rights Reserved
Contact for this page : Press and Public Information Service
Updated : 2004-01-06