WRC-12 - World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (Geneva, Switzerland - 23 January-17 February 2012)
(by Philippe Aubineau, BR/SGD Counsellor for the CPM, the SCRPM and ITU-R Study Group 1 on Spectrum management)

Approval of WRC-12 Agenda, dates and venue

At its session in 2008, the ITU Council resolved by its Resolution 1291 to convene the next World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) in Geneva and adopted the Agenda for this Conference in the Annex to the same Resolution. After further consultations regarding the dates for this next WRC, the Council approved by correspondence on June 2009 that this next WRC will be held in Geneva from 23 January to 17 February 2012 (WRC-12) and that it will be preceded by the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-12) also in Geneva from 16 to 20 January 2012 (see Council Resolution 1291 (MOD)). On August 2009, this Council decision has received the agreement of the required majority of the ITU Member States in accordance with Nos. 42 and 118 of the ITU Constitution.

Scope of the WRC-12 Agenda

With its 25 specific and 8 permanent items, the Agenda for WRC-12 is no less complex than that of WRC-07. Among the issues on the Agenda is the resolution of some key objectives, such as:

  • The review of the international regulatory framework applicable to radiocommunications, as established in Resolution 951 (Rev. WRC-07. This review should reflect the convergence of some radio services arising from the development of next-generation networks and new radio applications using new radio technologies.

  • The identification of appropriate mechanisms to make the best use of the digital dividend in the UHF and other frequency bands, providing new opportunities for the radiocommunication services in those frequency bands.

  • The identification of solutions to accommodate the new spectrum requirements necessary to achieve increasing security in transport for both the maritime and areonautical services.

  • The identification of additional spectrum resources and required protection for scientific and other radiocommunication services, which are key services for operations related to the Environment, Meteorology and Climatology, as well as disaster prediction, mitigation and relief. With the identification of solutions to those issues and to the reduction of ICT environmental impact, for example with the introduction of more digital services requiring less power consumption, WRC-12 will be a milestone for the ITU to meet its commitment for achieving climate neutrality with the use of ICTs as effective tools to combat and reduce Climate Change and its effects.

In view of the importance of its objectives, WRC-12 is expected to be just as challenging as WRC-07, where there were more than 2600 delegates from 164 countries (See WRC-07 Newsroom) and more than 3000 proposals for modifications of the ITU Radio Regulations.

ITU-R preparatory studies for WRC-12

ITU-R preparation for WRC-12 started immediately after WRC-07 and is performed within the framework of the ITU-R Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM-11), which held its first session on 19 and 20 November 2007 (CPM-11-1) and which will hold its second session from to 14 – 25 February 2011 (CPM-11-2). Up-to-date information on the on-going technical and regulatory studies for WRC-12 is available here. It reflects the very good progress made so far towards the regional preparation and the final texts for the 'Draft CPM Report to WRC-12' by 16 July 2010.

Regional preparation for WRC-12

The experiences with recent WRCs have shown that one of the most efficient elements for successful preparation of Conferences is the increasing level of regional preparations.

As for past WRCs, and to guarantee the same level of achievement at this next WRC, there is a need to continue the trend toward increasing the number of common and coordinated proposals. This process, which highlights the great spirit of international cooperation that marks the ITU tradition of consensus building, has indeed proved to be more and more successful within and between the various regional groups: APT, ASMG, ATU, CEPT, CITEL, RCC – further information is available here.

Several meetings of these regional groups have already been held, and, in order to provide a first worldwide forum to enhance this regional preparation, the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau, in collaboration with Africa Telecommunication Union (ATU), is organizing an 'ITU meeting on WRC-12 Preparation, in collaboration with ATU' in Geneva from 14 to 16 September 2009. In addition to the information relating to the Bureau's and regional preparations for WRC-12, this meeting will allow all the regional groups to present any of their preliminary views with respect to WRC-12 Agenda items. It will also provide participants the opportunity to exchange information and views on the preliminary draft common proposals and positions of other regional groups and those of some organizations. The internal reflections and discussions that have already started within each regional group, as well those groups’ long experiences on preparation for WRCs, will be of great benefit to all the participants attending this meeting.

With the organization of this meeting and other possible subsequent similar meetings, as well as with its participation, to the extent possible, at meetings of regional groups, the Radiocommunication Bureau will continue to contribute to the preparation for WRC-12 in accordance with Resolution 72 (Rev. WRC-07).

The next ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 23 January to 17 February, 2012.

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