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WRC-23: Representing the Commonwealth of Independent States

By Albert Nalbandian, Chairman of the Working Group on preparation for WRC-23/RA-23, Regional Commonwealth in the Field of Communications (RCC)

To guarantee the interference-free operation of satellite and terrestrial systems, the Radio Regulations (RR) need to be updated in an efficient and timely manner. Revising the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and the geostationary-satellite and non-geostationary-satellite orbits is the prerogative of the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) held every four years by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

A rich agenda

WRCs, including the upcoming WRC‑23, have had rich agendas in the 21st Century, with difficult issues for ITU Member States to resolve through consensus-based decision-making. This has underlined the importance of the conference to governmental, civilian, and commercial users of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite-orbit resources.

The WRC‑23 agenda covers a wide range of topics relating to spectrum allocation and radiocommunication services and applications.

Of particular interest to the region

Among those are issues of particular interest to the Regional Commonwealth in the Field of Communications (RCC), representing the Commonwealth of Independent States at WRC‑23.

These include spectrum allocation for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) systems; the implementation of IMT-2020 and beyond (5G) networks; and preparing the way for mega non-geostationary-satellite orbit (NGSO) satellite systems — totalling between 20 000 and 30 000 low-orbit satellites — in different frequency bands.

Regardless of WRC decisions on these issues, the development of such technologies will continue.

However, concern and special attention should be paid to the possible negative impact of increasing electromagnetic radiation on the environment.

In RCC’s opinion, it is advisable to determine non-overlapping frequency bands for these items before WRC‑23.

Six regional groups will develop common proposals for submission to the conference — greatly facilitating consensus-building on the various items to be discussed on the WRC‑23 agenda.

The basis for CIS common proposals

The common proposals from administrations of the Commonwealth of Independent States are based on a need to ensure:

  • Smooth operation and continued improvement of radiocommunications, taking into account the development of new digital technologies.
  • Consideration of differing technical and economic capabilities between ITU Member States.
  • Effective use of the spectrum/orbit resource.
  • Continued balance between existing and new allocations.
  • Regional and international cooperation.
Towards a successful WRC

The ITU membership accords increasing importance to the WRC process, both to continue improving regulatory procedures and to provide sufficient spectrum/orbit resources for emerging technologies, as well as existing uses.

A successful WRC will rely on good, thorough preparation. This happens through cooperation within each region, coordination among different regions, and compromise to reach consensus.
Ultimately, spectrum and orbit harmonization will be key to connecting everyone, anywhere, at any time.

This article first appeared in the ITU News Magazine, which outlines key technical and regional perspectives on topics to be discussed at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23) taking place in Dubai, UAE, between 20 November and 15 December 2023.

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