World Radiocommunication Conference 2012

The results item by item: in brief

Below we've made a very short summary of the outcome of each agenda item. You can see a more detailed account of the outcomes, and other processes which led to them, at the ECC's website on the page of the Conference Preparatory Group

AI 1.1: Radio Regulations footnotes. These are specific provisions relevant to one or more country which allows some exemption from Article 5 of the Radio Regulations. Some of these footnotes were modified.

AI 1.2: International regulatory framework. Agreed that ITU-R studies should continue to examine whether ongoing convergence between different types of service requires amendment of the Radio Regulations but this conference agreed that the existing definitions should remain the time being. However Resolution 951 was dropped.

WRC-12 agreed some modifications to the principles for allocating frequency bands (Revised Resolution 34); largely influenced by CEPT contributions.

AI 1.3: Radio spectrum for unmanned aircraft ('drones'). A new allocation was made in the band 5030 - 5091 MHz specifically for terrestrial communication with UAVs. This avoids any impact on the European Satellite Navigation system Galileo. The question of satellite component will be considered at the next WRC; compatibility with other terrestrial services on the candidate frequencies still needs to be studied.

AI 1.4: Any further regulatory measures to facilitate the introduction of a new aeronautical mobile (R) services in 112 - 117.975 MHz and 960 - 1164 MHz. Revisions to the corresponding resolutions from WRC-07 were agreed. However a proposal also for the 5000-5030 MHz band was not accepted: this will ensure continued protection for the European Galileo satellite system.

AI 1.5: Electronic News Gathering. Some agreement on (rather loose) worldwide harmonisation (Footnote 5.296 was amended by inclusion of 42 countries. Studies will continue in accordance with ITU-R Resolution 59).

AI 1.6: The range identified for passive services usage was extended from an upper limit of 275 GHz up to 3000 GHz. The WRC does not, however, expect this to imply allocation exclusively to passive services.

AI 1.7: Aeronautical mobile satellite (R) service: agreement of certain procedures for coordinating satellite networks, notably an appeals mechanism if the spectrum offered at the end of a coordination process is insufficient to meet the demands claimed by the administration which is applying. Agreement involved some acceptable compromise to the CEPT's preferred position.

AI 1.8: Recommended limits applied to unwanted emissions of the fixed service in the range 71 GHz to 238 GHz. This will enhance protection of Earth Exploration Satellite Service, used particularly for environmental monitoring

AI 1.9. Frequencies for the maritime service: flexibility was added to existing provisions (which were based on analogue technology) to enable the deployment of new digital technologies. Those results are in line with CEPT proposals.

AI 1.10: Various allocations made for safety systems for ships and ports as well as exclusive worldwide allocation to the maritime mobile service. Some regional variations across the world, in particular, different status were given.

AI 1.11: Space research service (Earth-to-space): primary allocation made in the band 22.55 - 23.15 GHz. However, the provisions also allow some flexibility for counties which choose to use these frequencies for other purposes (fixed and mobile): separation distance for the Earth stations in the space research service of at least 54 km inland from a national border.

AI 1.12: It was resolved to exclude aeronautical mobile services from the 37-38 GHz band to protect land and maritime mobile services, and spacecraft communications, in this frequency range. This was fully in line with the European position.

AI 1.13: Tighter procedures agreed in the 21.4 to 22 GHz band to create some spectrum space for those countries which do not have filing for satellite broadcasting service. Also, a new uplink allocation FSS (Earth-to-Space) was agreed.

AI 1.14: New allocation of 154- 156 MHz agreed for radio location service: i.e. radars for space-object detection systems. Provisions were included to protect MMS (Maritime Mobile Service) safety systems in this range.

AI 1.15: Oceanographic radars: allocations made in the HF ranges on a secondary basis in some parts of the world, including Europe, although some European countries have opted out of this. Also some allocations in Region 1, in the low VHF range (39-39.5 and 42-42.5 MHz, also on a secondary basis except CEPT countries which signed this ECP).

AI 1.16: An allocation was agreed in the VLF range 8.3 to 11.3 kHz for lightning detection in the meteorological aids service.

AI 1.17: Raising the status of mobile services to co-primary in the range 694 to 790 MHz from 2015 (i.e. at the next WRC), and agreeing some outstanding technical issues on the existing 'digital dividend' (790 - 862 MHz). The first makes easier the possibility of an 'extended digital dividend' in Europe, and the second removes some practical barriers affecting implementation of the first digital dividend in Eastern Europe: see Eric Fournier's article in this Newsletter.

AI 1.18 Conditions agreed for extending the existing allocation for the radiodetermination service in the range 2483.5 to 2500 MHz, to achieve a global primary allocation. RDSS and MSS (Galileo and Globalstar) had reached an agreement on relaxation to pfd threshold levels applied in some countries worldwide except RCC, Arab group, India and China.

AI 1.19 It was agreed that no change is appropriate for the Radio Regulations to reflect the technologies of cognitive and software defined radio but a WRC-12 Recommendation on cognitive radio systems.

AI 1.20 Gateway links for High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS). A frequency range and technical provisions were made for feeder links for these stations which can be used for fixed or mobile services of high-capacity. In Australia, Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivoire, Nigeria and Mali, the allocation to the fixed service in the bands 6 440-6 520 MHz (HAPS-to-ground direction) and 6 560-6 640 MHz (ground-to-HAPS direction) may also be used by gateway links for high altitude platform stations (HAPS) within the territory of these countries. There is a footnote provisions agreed enabling individual countries to apply the facility as they wish.

AI 1.21: Allocation to the radio location service agreed in the band 15.4 - 15.7 GHz; this is a globally harmonised solution, and although not the preferred option of the CEPT at the start of the conference, it formed part of an agreement which protects the Galileo system in its frequency range at 5 GHz.

AI 1.22: It was agreed to apply no new provisions relating to emissions from short-range devices. This was based, inter-alia, on technical contributions from CEPT.

AI 1.23: Secondary allocation to the amateur service in the range 472 to 479 kHz. Several CEPT countries in the eastern end of Europe noted the need to protect aeronautical frequencies which include this range.

AI 1.24: Additional 50 MHz, between 7850 and 7900 MHz, to be added to contiguous leads to the 100 MHz already allocated for meteorological satellites. This new allocation is restricted to non geo-stationary meteorological satellites.

AI 1.25: No additional allocations to be made to the mobile-satellite service at this conference. This was in line with CEPT proposals.

AI 7: Agenda item 7 is a standing item at WRCs which covers regulatory issues relating to satellites. Many regulatory measures were agreed. However, other draft provisions will be further considered at the WRC 15, including how to deal with satellites which are launched, but do not reach the orbital positions that have been allocated to them (normally there are obligations to bring satellites into use once they have been internationally coordinated).

Provisional Final Acts downloadable from ITU website for those with an ITU (TIES) account:

Mark Thomas, Director of the ECO
Stella Lyubchenko, ECO Spectrum Engineering

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