5G | Regulation | Satellite
November 1, 2019

WRC-19: Representing Asia and the Pacific

By Kyu-Jin Wee Chairman, APG‑19 Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT)

For the preparation of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC‑19), the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) Preparatory Group for WRC (APG) last met in August 2019 in Tokyo, Japan, with around 600 participants from 26 APT members, representatives of other regional groups, and international organizations. In that meeting, Preliminary APT Common Proposals (PACPs) on most of the WRC‑19 agenda items were developed by consensus.

Diversity is one of the characteristics of the Asia Pacific region. More than 50 years of historical different usage of radio spectrum, and different geographical and economic development situations have led to different demands for spectrum usage. However, a consensus approach has worked well to develop PACPs, with the spirit of utmost goodwill, as addressed in the Radio Regulations.

A consensus approach has worked well to develop Preliminary APT Common Proposals, with the spirit of utmost goodwill.

WRC‑19 agenda items in brief

The following is APT’s view on some selected WRC‑19 agenda items. It is very well recognized that those complex issues will be further discussed at WRC‑19, both within the APT region, and also with other regions.

International Mobile Telecommunications

Preliminary APT Common Proposals on agenda item 1.13 support identifying the frequency band 24.25–27.5 GHz and the frequency band 37–43.5 GHz, or portions thereof, for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) globally.

APT members have agreed to further investigate whether the frequency bands 47.2–50.2 GHz or portions thereof, 50.4–52.6 GHz, 71–76 GHz and 81–86 GHz could be considered for IMT identification at WRC‑19.

APT members, in principle, support the frequency band 66–71 GHz for identification of IMT. However, APT members are still investigating the method and condition(s) to be adopted when identifying this band for IMT.

The four ranges of the active service band are proposed: 24.25–24.75 GHz, 24.25–25.25 GHz, 24.25–26.5 GHz or 24.25–27.5 GHz. Both the unwanted emission limits and the active service band should be carefully investigated together to find an appropriate solution to achieve the protection of Earth exploration-satellite service (EESS) (passive), and to avoid unnecessary constraints to IMT stations.

Radio local area networks

APT members are of the view that the protection of incumbent services including their current and planned use in the frequency bands 5150– 5350 MHz, 5350–5470 MHz, 5725–5850 MHz and 5850–5925 MHz should be ensured, without adversely affecting these services.

APT members support the allocation of the 5725–5850 MHz frequency band to the mobile service on a primary basis in Region 3.

In the frequency band 5150–5250 MHz, APT members do not support Method A2, A4, A5 and A6. Moreover, no consensus was reached on either Method A1 or A3. However, APT members support further consideration and investigation on the possibility of outdoor wireless access/ radio local area networks (WAS/RLANs) operation, under the condition that incumbent services, including the future development of these services, are fully protected.

Railway and intelligent transport systems

While there is a common understanding that the harmonized frequency use of railway and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) application, globally or regionally, would benefit all members, there are still different views among regional groups on whether the RR would need to include such idea of harmonization.

It is expected that WRC‑19 will develop better and wiser decisions for future agenda items.

One view is that the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU–R) Report or Recommendation would suffice for such harmonization. However, it is worth noting that one of the objectives of the RR is “to facilitate the efficient and effective operation of all radiocommunication services”, as addressed in the preamble.

APT proposes new WRC Resolutions on railway communications and ITS, respectively, without specifying the frequency bands, but encouraging members to consider the relevant ITU–R Report or Recommendation for harmonized use of spectrum.

Earth stations in motion

Since WRC‑03 introduced Resolution 902 (WRC‑03), which provides a provision for the operation of earth stations on board vessels in the fixed-satellite service, WRC‑15 introduced regulations for earth stations in motion (ESIM) operating in the frequency bands 19.7–20.2 GHz and 29.5–30 GHz, contained in Resolution 156 (WRC‑15).

Now WRC‑19 agenda item 1.5 (Resolution 158 (WRC‑15)) is seeking for a provision for the operation of all kinds of ESIM, on ships, aircraft and on land. Furthermore, there are already several proposed new agenda items regarding ESIM for WRC‑23 in different frequency bands.

While ESIM are recognized as useful applications and envisaged being facilitated more in future, agenda item 1.5 would need to consider two aspects: The first is how ESIM protect existing services and their future development. The second is how the provision for ESIM under WRC‑19 agenda item 1.5 would impact the RR in future.

Asia Pacific countries are very much keen to protect their existing and future development, because many countries in the region have deployed mobile systems as allocated in the mobile service, while some ESIM applications may be allowed in their territory. In this regard, pfd limits and altitude limits for ESIM are still under discussion.

PACPs propose to include the following text in the Resolution; “the successful compliance of this Resolution does not oblige any administration to authorize/licence any ESIM to operate within the territory under its jurisdiction unless such an operation fully complies with its national jurisdiction”.

Satellite services (agenda item 7, issue A) — Bringing into use definition

Regarding Agenda item 7, issue A, APT members are of the view that the definition of the bringing into use (BIU) of frequency assignments to non-geostationary (NGSO) systems should be in accordance with the current practice as contained in the Rules of Procedure — that is to keep a continuous period of 90 days for frequency assignments of the fixed-satellite service (FSS)/mobile-satellite service (MSS)/broadcasting-satellite service (BSS), and no fixed period for frequency assignments other than the FSS/MSS/ BSS.

With respect to the regulatory provision No. 11.44C of the BIU, notified orbital planes, APT members could support Option 2, as out‑ lined in the CPM19‑2 report.

Milestone-based approach

When considering the ranges of milestones and associated deployment factors in the table, WRC‑19 may consider allowing a degree of flexibility to NGSO satellite operators. If they miss the percentage criterion in the 1st or 2nd milestone in the table, they would need to achieve those criteria at the subsequent milestone.

Transitional measures

APT members could support Option 1; the commencement date of the milestone process to be 1 January 2021, at this stage.

Addition of country names to existing footnotes

Both WRC‑12 and WRC‑15 permitted country names to be added to existing footnotes, while it is not the purpose of Resolution 26 (Rev. WRC‑07). Considering this practice, APT is proposing to modify Resolution 26 in order to provide an alternative procedure.

Issues under WRC‑19 agenda item 9.1

WRC‑2000 had ambitiously set 39 agenda items under agenda item 1 for WRC‑2003. The preparatory work for these agenda items proved very challenging. A new approach was then adopted at WRC‑03 to move some topics as issues under agenda item 9.1 (formerly known as 7.1). This new approach seems to have successfully reduced the numbers of topics under agenda item 1.

Agenda item 9 is a standing agenda item, which reads “to consider and approve the Report of the Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau, in accordance with Article 7 of the Convention:” and 9.1 is “on the activities of the Radiocommunication Sector since WRC‑15”.

With the principles contained in WRC Resolution 804 (Rev. WRC‑12) and the WRC‑03 experience, those topics which are unlikely to require changes to the RR have been put as issues under agenda item 9.1.

However, those issues might require changes to the RR. Careful examination is, therefore, required before allocating topics under agenda item 9.1.

Most importantly, the number of agenda items should be within the manageable range, and then the next WRC should decide whether they really need changes to the RR.

It is expected that WRC‑19 will develop better and wiser decisions for future agenda items.

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WRC-19: Representing Asia and the Pacific

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