World Radiocommunication Conference
Highlights WRC2000 Newsroom
8 May-2June

 Istanbul, 11 May 2000 N 4
 10 May issue

 12 May issue   

The WRC2000 Highlights available electronically

    The WRC2000 Highlights are available electronically at http://www.itu.int/newsroom/wrc2000/releases/index.html


    Working Group 5A completed the introduction of proposals and, in particular, the joint proposal on BSS re-planning, the radionavigation-satellite service, non-GSO FSS systems, High-Density Fixed Systems and the terrestrial component of IMT-2000, by countries of the Arab Group, Africa and Europe (see WRC2000 Highlights of 10 May, page 4, under BSS re-planning). In the agreement, the countries recognize the need for an additional 160MHz of spectrum for IMT-2000 provided countries retain full flexibility to determine their own implementation requirements and schedules. It is therefore proposed to identify additional frequency ranges on a worldwide basis for IMT-2000 from which countries can select the spectrum they need for national implementation plans.

    The ranges for potential IMT-2000 terrestrial use which are proposed by the countries that sign this agreement are: 862-960 MHz, 1710-1885 MHz and 2520-2670 MHz. The bands 2500MHz-2520MHz and 2670MHz-2690 MHz are also proposed for the possible longer-term use of the terrestrial component of IMT-2000 provided that the future development of mobile-satellite services, including the satellite component of IMT-2000, is secured by a Resolution.

    Following the introduction of this document, a raft of statements followed where countries re-stated the same positions they had on Tuesday when they introduced their proposals (see WRC2000 Highlights of 9 May, page 1). To move forward, the Chairperson of the Working Group offered to prepare a document that would contain the principles which could form the basis of a global agreement for consideration at the next meeting.

    The meeting also agreed that the proposed global control channel for IMT-2000 was not needed. WRC-97 had included in the agenda the identification of such a global control channel to facilitate multimode terminal operation and worldwide roaming of IMT-2000. It was however felt that a specific physical global radio control channel was not necessary to provide global roaming and that this objective could be achieved for example by way of multimode and multi-band handsets, software defined radios and varying service feature implementations. The choice of how to best implement global roaming functions in IMT-2000 should therefore be determined on factors such as coverage, speed of access, and regulatory considerations. The decision marked the first tangible output of Working Group 5A to Committee 5.

Generic Allocation to MSS

    Another issue taken up was the generic allocation to the mobile-satellite service in the band 1.5/1.6GHz. Prior to WRC-97, the MSS bands were segmented for specific mobile services such as aeronautical-mobile satellite, maritime-mobile satellite, etc. At WRC-97, this distinction was eliminated for a generic allocation to any Mobile-Satellite Services. At the time, this had raised considerable debate because the various services were concerned that this would lead to increased sharing problems. WRC-2000 has been tasked to review the decision of WRC-97 on the generic allocation. All proposals were introduced and most delegations expressed support for maintaining the allocations generic. Some countries proposed that regulatory guidance be given by way of footnotes to provide additional safeguard for the protection of aeronautical and maritime mobile satellite services.

Allocation to Little Leos

    The last issue tackled today by the Group was the possible additional allocations on a worldwide basis for the non-geostationary (non-GSO) MSS below 1GHz (small LEOs). No proposals were tabled to this effect, but the group will still discuss whether to continue studies that would facilitate sharing with other services in the bands below 1 GHz.

    Two drafting groups were set up: 5A1 to consolidate proposals on the identification of spectrum for the satellite component of IMT-2000 and the use of High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS) for providing IMT-2000 services; 5A2 to prepare the texts on the generic MSS allocations and little LEOs for approval by Working Group 5A and further transmission to Committee5.

A move to make the administrative due diligence procedure more effective

Working Group 4A

    The discussion in Working Group 4A on the due diligence procedure for satellite networks which began on 10 May, continued duly and diligently. In the spotlight again was the backlog on satellite filings and the ineffectiveness of the administrative due diligence procedure to cope with what had become a "totally unacceptable situation" for the Radiocommunication Bureau (BR).

    Some delegations argued that perhaps the only way to bring an effective impact on this procedure was by overhauling the Radio Regulations to bring them in line with the real requirements of satellite operators as they seek to coordinate their systems. They considered that due diligence could be given a chance to work only if the regulatory framework was improved and wondered why spend a lot of scarce resources automating a flawed regulatory process. "If no action is taken to remedy this situation before the next WRC in 2003, the ITU may well become irrelevant to the needs of the satellite community and satellite operators could well start looking elsewhere for mechanisms to coordinate their satellite networks", said a delegate.

    Developing countries maintained the same tone and stance as they did at the previous meeting, considering that moving to financial due diligence would be detrimental to their interests and would hamper their capacity to benefit from satellite technology (see WRC2000 Highlights N 3, page 3). Some developed countries supported that view and questioned the desirability of imposing fees even if the procedures had not been effective, stressing that it would be a fundamental departure from ITU non-commercial practices. One delegation remarked that it was rather serious for ITU to contemplate reducing certain services to the Members because of a lack of resources. Many delegations reiterated their concerns over introducing financial due diligence when administrative due diligence was still being tested.

    In the end, a sub-working group (4A3) was set up with the mandate to reconsider the administrative due diligence procedure and provide some text for consideration by the Working Group by early next week. The sub-working group will also resolve the ambiguity in applying one of the provisions of the procedure with respect to the supply of due diligence information. It is also to prepare a draft preliminary report to the next Plenipotentiary Conference which requested an evaluation of administrative due diligence.

Satellite filing procedures

Working Group 4A

    The Working Group also discussed briefly the satellite filing procedures as required by the Minneapolis Plenipotentiary Conference. These procedures are regarded as the very foundation for ITU to discharge its role and mandate in space matters. As such, the Plenipotentiary requested that they be subject to on-going review to keep them as simple as possible so as to ensure that they reflect the latest technologies and achieve cost savings for countries and the Bureau.

Sharing between non-GSO MSS (Big LEOs) and GSO FSS networks

Working Group 5D

    Working Group 5D had been tasked to decide on the fate of Resolutions 121 and 123, two agenda items (1.12 and 1.14) on sharing between non-GSO MSS (Big LEOs) and GSO FSS networks.

Resolution 121

    Resolution 121 which was revised by WRC-97 deals with interference criteria and methodologies for the coordination between feeder links of non-GSO MSS and GSO FSS in the bands 19.3-19.7 GHz and 29.1-29.5 GHz). The studies conducted, at the request of WRC-97 and endorsed by the Conference Preparatory Meeting, determined the permissible interference criteria and developed interference mitigation techniques to facilitate coordination between the two types of satellite networks. All delegations agreed that maintaining this Resolution was no longer required because the objectives had been met. Its deletion was therefore approved, deciding also to improve the regulatory provisions pertaining to those feeder links.

Resolution 123

    In Resolution 123, WRC-97 requested ITU to conduct studies on the feasibility of implementing non-GSO MSS feeder links in the 15.43-15.63GHz. The studies dealt with two aspects: the need for an allocation to non-GSO MSS feeder links and the feasibility of implementing the feeder links while protecting the radioastronomy service, the earth-exploration satellite service (passive) and the space research service (passive) located in adjacent bands.

    The studies showed that it is feasible to implement the existing non-GSO MSS downlinks in the band because of their rather limited number. They also showed that it would be difficult for future systems to use this space-to-earth allocation because substantial mitigation techniques would be required to protect the radioastronomy service from harmful interference. Most delegations agreed that the resolution was therefore no longer required and that downlink of non-GSO MSS should be limited only to those satellite networks having submitted their filing (advance publication) prior to WRC-2000.

    While agreeing on the principle, the approach taken to achieve the objective has, however, been somewhat different between Europe and the CITEL countries. Europe would prefer to maintain the space-to-earth allocation in the table and include the constraints in the footnote whereas CITEL countries would prefer the deletion of the allocation and include in the footnotes the possibility to use this band for downlink of non-GSO MSS filed prior to WRC-2000.

The quest for spectrum by the mobile-satellite service

Working Group 5B

    The band 1 559-1 610 MHz currently used by the aeronautical radionavigation-satellite service (ARNS) and radionavigation-satellite services (RNSS) where GPS and GLONASS operate, had been foreseen by WRC-97 as a candidate band for MSS downlinks, provided that these services used extensively by civil aviation were adequately protected. This topic raised considerable debate in 1997 with strong reservation from the civil aviation and maritime communities because the radionavigation services operating in the band 1559-1610 MHz provide critical safety applications on a worldwide basis on land, at sea, and in the skies through millions of radionavigation-satellite service (RNSS) receivers.

    Studies conducted by the ITU at the request of WRC-97 considered the technical criteria, operational and safety requirements. The conclusions, endorsed by the Conference Preparatory Meeting, show that sharing with an MSS downlink in this band is not possible as the signals from the MSS disrupt those of the ARNS and RNSS.

    All agree that Resolution 220 concerning the use of the RNSS bands for MSS should be deleted because the conclusions that sharing is not possible are undisputed.

    To provide the required spectrum for MSS, some countries considered alternatives bands as provided for by Resolution 213. However, no agreement could be reached as to whether the provisions of Resolution 213 were in fact strictly within the agenda of the Conference. The matter will be considered at an informal meeting on Monday.

Allocations to the radionavigation-satellite service

Sub-Working Group 5B2

    Sub-Working Group 5B2 started consideration of possible new allocations to the radionavigation-satellite service in the range 1 GHz to 6GHz (agenda item 1.15.1). Following the introduction of all proposals, it became clear that most delegations agreed that there spectrum should be made available so as to support developments of these services. However, opinions differed on the amount of spectrum or the portion of the bands where the spectrum should be found, largely because of sharing constraints and what sharing criteria should apply.

High Density Fixed Systems (HDFS)

Sub-Working Group 5C3

    Three drafting groups were set up each to consider some bands where HDFS could be used:

    One drafting group (C3a) is responsible for developing suitable regulatory provisions for HDFS. Some countries proposed that power limits be imposed on HDFS in the bands 55.78-56.26 GHz to protect the Earth-Exploration Satellite Services (passive) while others suggested that studies should be conducted before proceeding with the use of the band by HDFS.

    In another drafting group (C3b), there was general support for the use of HDFS in the bands 31.8-33.4 GHz as studies concluded that there was no compatibility problem with the radionavigation-satellite, inter-satellite nor space research services.

    In the bands 37-38 GHz, which fall under the responsibility of a third drafting group (C3c), sharing between the HDFS and the Space research is mostly supported. But differences of views were expressed for the band 37.5-40GHz which are also allocated to the Fixed-Satellite Service given the incompatibility between the two. It was proposed that a splitting of the band between the Fixed Service and the Fixed-Satellite Service could be a way forward on the issue.

Working Group 1 of the Plenary

    The spirit of cooperation continued to reign in Working Group 1 of the Plenary, which considered and approved another key document containing the basic elements for the BSS replanning. A revised version of this document, prepared by GT PLEN Ad hoc 1, will be submitted to the Plenary on Friday afternoon (12 May). The meeting fixed 12May2000, 17h00 (Istanbul time) as the date after which no new national preferences would be accepted. Greece proposed that the deadline be set two hours after the end of the Plenary on Friday, 12 May.

Please note that in issue No. 3 of WRC2000 Highlights, paragraph 2 of page 4 should have read Article S13 of the Radio Regulations and not Appendix S13.


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