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EARC-63

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

7 October - 8 November 1963 - Geneva, Switzerland

The 1963 Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference, also known as the Space Conference, was the first conference on space radiocommunications called by ITU. It took place at a time when the first communication satellite successes and the first launchings of manned space vehicles were making serious international co-operation more and more necessary. The main task of the Conference, which was attended by more than four hundred delegates from seventy ITU Member States, was the allocation of radio frequencies for outer space activities and the consequent revision of the Table of Frequency Allocations. Since the Geneva Radio Conference of 1959, the allocation of an adequate number of frequencies for outer space had become an urgent task due to the rapid growth of activity in space. The Conference finally allocated, on a shared or exclusive basis, frequencies totaling 6076.462 Mc/s for the various kinds of space services and for radio astronomy, 2800 Mc/s of which were for communication satellites on a shared basis with other services. Thus, while at the 1959 Conference only about 1 percent of the Table of Frequency Allocations was made available for outer space, about 15 per cent had now been made available.

The Conference also adopted a number of revisions and additions to other parts of the Radio Regulations, mainly concerned with general rules for the assignment and use of frequencies; notification and recording of frequencies in the Master International Frequency Register; the identification of stations; service documents; terms and definitions; and special rules relating to particular services. These revisions and additions were necessitated to make provision for the space services. In addition, the Conference adopted a number of important Resolutions and Recommendations with an eye to future developments in the use of outer space. For example, it recommended that Members and Associate Members of the Union make data available to the appropriate permanent organs of the ITU; that the Administrative Council should annually review the progress of Administrations in space radiocommunications and should, in the light of this review, recommend the convening of an Extraordinary Administrative Conference at a future date to work out further agreements for the international regulation of the use of the frequency bands allocated by the present Conference; and that notification and registration of frequency assignments to space services shall, until revised by a future Conference, be effected in accordance with the procedures adopted by the present Conference. In addition, considering that the number of flights by space vehicles or manned satellites was likely to increase, one of the most important Resolutions dealt with space vehicles in distress or emergency, noting that the frequency of 20 007 kc/s had been set aside by the Conference for this purpose and resolving that the conventional distress signal used by ships or aircraft (SOS in radio telegraphy and MAYDAY in radio telephony) should also be used by spacecraft.

Another Recommendation was addressed to the International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR) pointing out that "the use of satellite transmissions for direct reception by the general public of sound and television broadcasts may be possible in the future" and urged the CCIR to expedite its studies on the technical feasibility of broadcasting from satellites. Thus, an important step was taken towards the future possibility of the general public being able to receive radio and television programmes in their own homes direct from satellites. A further Recommendation called on the upcoming 1964 ITU Aeronautical Conference to provide high frequency channels (bands between 2850-22 000 kc/s) for communications for the routine flight of transport airspace vehicles flying between points of the earth surface both within and beyond the major part of the atmosphere. Finally, a Recommendation was adopted recognizing "that all Members and Associate Members of the Union have an interest in and right to an equitable and rational use of frequency bands allocated for space communications" and recommending to all ITU Members and Associate Member States "that the utilization and exploitation of the frequency spectrum for space communication be subject to international agreements based on principles of justice and equity permitting the use and sharing of allocated frequency bands in the mutual interest of all nations."

In addition to the work of the Conference, a special meeting was held on 9 October where a direct exchange of live televised messages took place via the United States communication-satellite Telstar. U Thant, Secretary General of the United Nations, spoke to the Conference from New York, and Mr. Gerald C. Gross, Secretary General of the ITU, answered from the Conference Hall in Geneva. A transcript of the speeches can be found in the Conference Documents and in the article Opening of the Conference on Space Radiocommunications.

This summary includes an excerpt from an article that originally appeared in the Telecommunication Journal 30, no. 12 (1963): 366-368.
Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference to allocate frequency bands for space radiocommunication purposes (Geneva, 1963)
Use the tabs below to explore the different publications, documents, and resources related to this event. The History of ITU Portal uses Persistent Identifiers for its digitized documents. To copy a Persistent ID, hover the cursor over the document link and then right-click on it.
Final Acts of EARC-63 (Geneva, 1963)(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Actes finals de la EARC-63 (Genève, 1963)(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Actas Finales de la EARC-63 (Ginebra, 1963)(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Final Acts of EARC-63 (Geneva, 1963)(Chinese)download PDF PDF (acrobat)

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List of Documents of EARC-63 (Geneva, 1963)(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 1-100(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 101-200(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 201-243(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document DT No. 1-109(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Liste des documents de la EARC-63 (Genève, 1963)(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 1-100(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 101-200(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document No. 201-243(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document DT No. 1-109(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Document DL No. 5(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Lista de los Documentos de la EARC-63 (Ginebra, 1963)(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Documentos No. 1-100(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Documentos No. 101-200(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Documentos No. 201-243(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)

Chairman

Mr. Gunnar Pedersen (Denmark)

Countries participating

70

List of participants

List of Participants of EARC-63 (Geneva, 1963)(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Liste des participants de la EARC-63 (Genève, 1963)(French)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
Lista de Participantes de la EARC-63 (Ginebra, 1963)(Spanish)download PDF PDF (acrobat)

Further Reading

Haley, A. G. "Developments Leading to and the Needs for the 1963 Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference on Space Communications." Telecommunication Journal 28, no. 1 (1961): 9-20.(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"Opening of the Conference on Space Radiocommunications: 70 Countries take part." Telecommunication Journal 30, no. 11 (1963): 334-336.(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)
"Radio Conference on Space Communications: rewarding results." Telecommunication Journal 30, no. 12 (1963): 366-368.(English)download PDF PDF (acrobat)

Library Catalogue

Link to the ITU Library Catalogue (Geneva, 1963)(Multilingual) URL
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

International Radiocommunication Conference (Cairo, 1938)

All servicesWorldCairo

1939

European Broadcasting Conference (Montreux, 1939)

Mobile - Aeronautical, 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)

CERBroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesCopenhagen

1948

Regional Maritime Radio Conference (Copenhagen, 1948)

MAR-48Mobile - MaritimeRegional - Radio ConferencesCopenhagen

1948

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

Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1948

International High Frequency Broadcasting Conference (1st session) (Mexico City, 1948-1949)

CIRAFBroadcastingWorldMexico City

1949

Special Administrative Conference for the North-East Atlantic (LORAN) (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 Union Region 2 - Fourth Inter-American Radio Conference (Washington, D.C., 1949)

All servicesRegional - Radio ConferencesWashington, D.C.

1949

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

Mobile - AeronauticalWorldGeneva

1950

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

NARBABroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesWashington, D.C.

1950

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

CIRAFBroadcastingWorldFlorence-Rapallo

1951

Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference (Geneva, 1951)

EARC-51All servicesWorldGeneva

1952

European Broadcasting Conference (Stockholm, 1952)

CERBroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesStockholm

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)

CERBroadcastingRegional - 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 (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 SpaceWorldGeneva

1974

Regional Administrative LF/MF Broadcasting Conference (Regions 1 and 3) (1st session) (Geneva, 1974)

BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

1974

World Maritime Administrative Radio Conference (Geneva, 1974)

WMARC-74Mobile - MaritimeWorldGeneva

1975

Regional Administrative LF/MF Broadcasting Conference (Regions 1 and 3) (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)

RARC-1BroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesBuenos Aires

1981

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

RARC-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)

RARC SAT-83Broadcasting, 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)

AF+BroadcastingRegional - 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 (Geneva, 2004)

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-Rev.ST61 / 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-Rev.GE89 / RRC-06-AFRBroadcastingRegional - Radio ConferencesGeneva

2007

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2007)

WRC-07All servicesWorldGeneva

2012

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2012)

WRC-12All servicesWorldGeneva

2015

World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2015)

WRC-15All servicesWorldGeneva

2019

World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) (Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt)

WRC-19N/AWorldSharm el-Sheikh