Developing spectrum management capacity across the Asia-Pacific Region
Last year, we witnessed dramatic changes in the way we live and work due to COVID-19.
Our global dependence on digital technology seemed to skyrocket almost overnight, as many of us were forced to switch from offline to online modes of work and life.
At the same time, the value of resilient and reliable digital infrastructure and networks has never been clearer or timelier, especially given the rapid rollout of 5G networks and services across the globe.
The real ‘hidden heroes’
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been called the “hidden hero” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But perhaps even more ‘hidden’ are the people supporting the efficient and effective management of ICT infrastructure and networks.
This is particularly apparent when it comes to the management of spectrum, an increasingly precious natural resource in our digital era.
The efficient and equitable use of radio spectrum resource not only supports rapid responses to disasters and emergencies such as COVID-19, but also helps sustain and scale up the digital transformation efforts of entire countries - and their future generations.
Governments can achieve the efficient management of spectrum by establishing the national spectrum management and radio frequency (RF) monitoring processes. They create a technical and regulatory envelope within which command-and-control procedures can operate successfully and safely.
Free spectrum management training
In order to support such efforts and build required capacity, ITU’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific has been collaborating with the State Radio Monitoring Center (SRMC) of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of China.
ITU and SRMC organized practical training on issues related to spectrum management and radiofrequency monitoring free of charge.
As part of the ITU Centres of Excellence for the Asia and the Pacific region, the Centre succeeded in training nearly 1000 participants over the years.
In 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the training was organized online which has proven effective to encourage participation from all over the world. The two-week course on spectrum management and radiofrequency monitoring in August 2020 saw 358 participants from 58 countries, covering not only Asia and the Pacific, but also South America and other regions.
The active engagement and enthusiasm of the participants was palatable, with an average of 45 questions asked per session! In addition, the ITU Academy platform created a digital space for discussion and sharing knowledge through online forums created by both tutors and participants.
Body image: Participants during field visit to a SRMC monitoring station during the CoE training on Spectrum Management and IMT-2020 Radio Technology Application in Harbin Heilongjiang Province, China in 2019. Image credit: Andre Basuki via Flickr.
More tailored training planned
To continue responding to the increasing demand and requests for support in spectrum management and the capacity development, ITU is planning to provide a demand-driven technical assistance, tailored specifically for the region.
By enhancing the knowledge, expertise and capacity in spectrum management and radiofrequency monitoring, ITU is helping not only to address the immediate needs of connecting people with affordable access to the Internet, but also advancing digital transformation, with resilient, robust, and reliable networks for the future.
Header image: Practical competition to find RF interference emitting source during the 2017 Spectrum Engineering and Cross-border Radio Frequency Coordination Training in Xi’an, Shanxi Province, China. Image credit: Andre Basuki via Flickr.