5G | Regulation | Satellite | Spectrum Management
October 25, 2019

WRC-19: Representing the Arab States

By Tariq Al Awadhi, Executive Director, Spectrum Affairs Chairman, Arab Spectrum Management Group (ASMG)

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) holds a World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) every three to four years. The WRC is the highest-level international forum to discuss and decide on the radio spectrum and issues related to radiocommunication services around the world. The WRC also reviews and revises the Radio Regulations, an international treaty regulating the use of frequency spectrum for all purposes including mobile, broadcasting and satellite.

There are a number of agenda items set for the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC‑19) covering various radio‑ communication services. Technical and regulatory studies are carried out within the study groups of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU–R), with active participation and contributions from ITU Member States and Regional Groups including the Arab Spectrum Management Group (ASMG).

The decisions of the WRC have a huge impact on the use of the limited resource of radio spectrum in the region, and play a crucial role in identifying the future trends of technology and infrastructure development in Arab States.

Arab States’ preparation for WRC‑19

ASMG has held its five preparatory meetings for the study cycle (2016–2019). The 21st meeting was held in 2016 and the 25th and last meeting was held in July-August 2019. These meetings were a platform for shaping the region’s views about the different WRC‑19 agenda items and crystalizing the Arab common proposals for all agenda items of the conference.

The meetings have provided the opportunity for other regional organizations and industry members and technology vendors to participate, to assure information exchange, and continuous coordination to facilitate the work and decisions ahead of the conference.

Arab States prepared views for the conference

As results of the preparatory meetings, ASMG’s views on different agenda items have been prepared, especially for agenda items related to International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT‑2020 or 5G).

In particular, for WRC‑19 agenda item 1.13, the ASMG administrations have interest in and are supporting IMT in certain frequency bands, particularly the 26 GHz band, as well as the range 40.5–43.5 GHz.

Furthermore, ASMG has prepared proposals for other key agenda items under satellite technical and regulatory issues such as agenda items 1.5, 1.6, 7 and other mobile services and applications such as intelligent transport systems (ITS), high-altitude platforms (HAPS), and proposals for future conferences’ agenda items under agenda item 10 relating to IMT and earth stations in motion.

The importance of ITU–R’s role in the WRC preparation study cycle

ITU–R has had a major role during the preparation process in this study cycle. In facilitating the meetings of different study groups and working parties, ITU–R has significantly contributed in converging different views between regional organizations in different events.

In particular, ITU–R organized three successful inter-regional workshops where participants could express and discuss their positions for each agenda item.

The decisions of the WRC have a huge impact on the use of the limited resource of radio spectrum in the region.

ASMG is looking forward to continuing this collaborative participation at the upcoming WRC‑19, with other countries, international, regional and intergovernmental organizations, scientific and industrial institutions and manufacturers, and specialized agencies of the United Nations.

We will all come together to discuss and find consensus-based solutions and decisions for the various agenda items of the WRC‑19, which this time, is being hosted by Egypt, one of the ASMG member administrations.

Leading Working Groups 4A and 5A

The ASMG is aspiring to lead the works of Working Groups 4A and 5A of the conference successfully, and will participate actively in the different levels of the conference, in cooperation with other regional organizations.

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WRC-19: Representing the Arab States

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