World Radiocommunication Conference to convene early 2012
ITU and African Telecommunication Union hold preparatory meeting
Geneva, 16 September 2009 —The ITU preparatory meeting for the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12), in collaboration with the African Telecommunication Union, (ATU) concluded today in Geneva. Around 200 participants from six regional telecommunication organizations - APT, ASMG, ATU, CEPT, CITEL, and RCC - participated in the meeting. This is part of a series of ongoing international and regional preparatory meetings to allow government and industry to address the far-reaching and complex agenda of WRC-12.
WRC-12 will be held in Geneva from 23 January to 17 February 2012 to review the international treaty that governs radiocommunications — the ITU Radio Regulations. The conference will be preceded by the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-12), which will also be held in Geneva, 16−20 January 2012.
The Conference will deal with 25 specific issues as well as 8 permanent items that always feature on the agenda. A key objective is the review of the international regulatory framework applicable to radiocommunications. This review should reflect the convergence of some radio services arising from the development of next-generation networks (NGN) as well as new radio applications and technologies.
WRC-12 will focus on appropriate spectrum sharing mechanisms to make the best use of the digital dividend in the UHF and other frequency bands, providing new opportunities for radiocommunication services. It will also identify the spectrum requirements to increase security for both maritime and aeronautical transport services.
Additional spectrum resources will also be identified for scientific and other radiocommunication services, specifically related to the environment, meteorology and climatology, as well as disaster prediction, mitigation and relief. Along with the introduction of more efficient digital services requiring less power consumption, WRC-12 will be a milestone to meet ITU’s commitment to achieve climate neutrality with the use of ICTs as effective tools to combat climate change and its effects.
The ITU preparatory meetings ahead of WRC-12 provide an opportunity to exchange information and views on the ongoing studies regarding WRC-12 Agenda items as well as on the common proposals and positions of the regional groups and other organizations. The discussions in this meeting addressed all WRC-12 agenda items and identified those deserving special consideration for African countries, including the sensitive issue related to the operation of security systems for ships and ports and the shared use of the planned digital TV spectrum by other services.
The Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau Valery Timofeev noted that the agenda for WRC-12 was likely to be as complex as the previous World Radiocommunication Conference held in 2007. "We need to continue the trend toward increasing the number of common and coordinated proposals," said Timofeev. "This process, which highlights the great spirit of international cooperation and consensus building at ITU, has proved to be increasingly successful in the WRC process." He added that the level of participation at the meeting indicated the importance of the WRC process "to improve regulatory procedures, to provide frequency and orbit resources for new technologies, and to strengthen the technical framework for the operation of services."
ATU Secretary-General Akossi Akossi pointed to several issues that the first preparatory meeting for WRC-12 addressed. He said it was "geared towards achieving a common position for the African continent".
Recognizing that WRC-12 is an important event for the future of information and communication technologies, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré said the forthcoming conference will be a landmark in achieving ITU’s connectivity targets. "WRC-12 will be held only three years ahead of 2015 — the target date to connect all villages, towns and cities, universities and schools in the world and to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," Dr Touré said. "If there is any chance to meet these goals, we must rely on ICTs — omnipresent tools with profound implications for all economic sectors — to accelerate the process and bridge the digital divide."
Further information on the meeting, provisional agenda, work programme and input documents can be found atwww.itu.int/ITU-R/go/wrc-12-regional-atu-09.
Regional group preparation information for WRC-12 is availablehere and further information regarding WRC-12 can be found here.
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Updated : 2009-09-16