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Future spectrum requirements for the digital economy

Latest technologies and trends for modern radiocommunication ecosystems

Geneva, 08 June 2018

The ITU Regional Seminar for CIS & Europe was held in St. Petersburg from 6 to 8 June to discuss the latest technologies and trends in the development of modern radiocommunication ecosystems. Co-organized by ITU and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU), the seminar addressed the appropriate solutions for the sustainable use of the radio frequency spectrum as a scarce resource in enabling the development of the digital economy through mobile, transport, navigation and space systems.

The seminar provided an overview of present radiocommunication applications essential to enabling the digital economy. It also aimed at increasing awareness among spectrum managers and state telecom administrators of the importance of spectrum protection and the need for their participation in national and international spectrum management activities. In this regard, one of the fundamental functions of the State is to create an enabling administrative and legal framework to stimulate the development of new radio-electronic systems through the use of a valuable natural resource, the radio-frequency spectrum.

"The transition to the digital economy, based on the efficient use of spectrum/orbit resources, is a key enabler to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda", said ITU Secretary General, Houlin Zhao. "At a time when this valuable natural resource is in short supply, and taking into account the needs of all radio services and users, this will enable national economies to move gradually towards a sustainable model of development of the digital economy," he said.

"In most cases, the only real technical option available, when deciding on an economically efficient plan to develop IT infrastructure, is to deploy radio networks. In this regard, particular requirements apply to the deployment of 5G* and further generations of mobile networks, which point at an increasingly acute need for modern satellite communication systems for radionavigation, broadband mobile communications and remote Earth sensing", said François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau (ITU-R).

"Satellite navigation, meteorology, the development of 5G*, cargo transportation, and the introduction of unmanned vehicles were discussed at the Polytechnic University, which hosted this event within the context of the "5-100" Project. In the framework of this Project our University applies multidisciplinary scientific research and world-class advanced manufacturing technologies, increasing the efficiency of design and production of the solutions for highly customized products", said Andrey I. Rudskoy, Rector of SPbPU and Academician of the Russian Academy of Science.

The seminar further stressed the importance of ITU and its coordinating role of international spectrum management, notably through the forthcoming ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 28 October to 22 November 2019 as well as through the ITU-R Study Groups on-going standardization activities.

The seminar also highlighted technological trends in radiocommunications and their role in providing balanced solutions, preserving a healthy environment and reserves of natural resources, meeting the demand for goods and services, and ultimately ensuring greater prosperity for a country's population, at a time when all resources (material and non-material) are limited.

The Seminar drew experts from industry, telecommunication operators, regulators and specialized agencies of Europe and CIS countries, as well as from the media, and was attended by 146 participants from 20 countries from the region.

More info about this seminar is available at:

* 5G (fifth generation)