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Press Release

ITU Inter-regional workshop focuses on preparations for World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19)

Cutting edge telecom technologies aim at delivering Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


Geneva, 04 September 2019

An Inter-regional Workshop focused on preparations for the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) opened in Geneva today.

This preparatory workshop for WRC-19, the third such meeting, will meet 4-6 September 2019. Discussions will centre on the agenda of the World Radiocommunication Conference as well as regional priorities and inputs that have been prepared both for WRC-19, which will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from 28 October until 22 November 2019, and the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-19) that will precede it at the same venue, 21-25 October. Experts representing the Regional Groups and the ITU Member States preparing for WRC-19 will share latest information and explanations on their positions for the Conference. Information on the status of readiness of the Conference by ITU and the host country, Egypt, will also be provided.

​Among the issues on the agenda at this Workshop that will come up at WRC-19:​

  • ​Identification of frequency bands for the future development of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), including possible additional allocations to the mobile service.​

  • Identification of frequency bands for High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPs) – ­ aircraft positioned in the stratosphere for very-long-duration flights – which can be used for a variety of applications, such as telecommunications, emergency/public safety communications, intelligent transportation systems, maritime surveillance, and environmental monitoring.

  • Conditions of use of Wireless access systems, including radio​ local area networks (WAS/RLAN), to provide effective communication for portable and mobile computer-based equipment.

  • Updating and modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), with consideration of new frequencies for additional GMDSS satellite providers to expand geographical coverage, including in Polar Regions, for safety in maritime navigation and search-and-rescue operations, as well as to enhance collision avoidance systems.

  • Frequency bands used by science services will be considered to ensure that Earth exploration-satellite, meteorological-satellite and other systems continue to be able to provide environmental monitoring, prediction and mitigation of the negative effects of disasters caused by climate change as well as to monitor the earth's resources and any other key services.

  • ​​​​Consider additional frequencies with appropriate regulatory, technical, and operational conditions for earth stations in motion (ESIM) communicating from aircraft, maritime vessels and land vehicles with satellites on the geostationary orbit (GSO); enhance the international regulatory framework to improve satellite broadband connectivity including from new non-GSO satellite systems composed of multiple, multi-satellite constellations.

“WRC-19 will play a critical role in helping achieve many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as dealing with the accelerating climate crisis, reducing food shortages, improving safety in transportation systems in the air, on land, and on the sea, while providing improved connectivity for people worldwide," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “This inter-regional workshop marks a key step in preparing for the World Radiocommunication Conference, which will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh this fall."

​​“The multi-trillion dollar telecommunication industry is looking forward to the decisions taken at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19)," said Mr Mario Maniewicz, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. “The global harmonization of spectrum for fixed, mobile, satellite and broadcasting industries will be essential in achieving economies of scale and in connecting the world to cutting edge developments and innovations in telecommunications."

Dr Amr Badawi, former Executive President of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) of Egypt and the proposed Chairman of WRC-19, said, “This Inter-regional Workshop is an excellent opportunity to have a final look at the priorities facing WRC-19 and to ensure preparations for this important conference are on track. I look forward to welcoming participants from around the world in Sharm El-Sheikh and to the deliberations which will shape the future of global telecommunications."