ITU WRC-23 addresses future of space-sea and land-based radiocommunications

ITU WRC-23 addresses future of space-sea and land-based radiocommunications


The World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23) kicked off in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, marking the commencement of crucial negotiations among governments regarding the allocation of radio-frequency spectrum. Hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) every three to four years, the conference holds significance in reviewing and updating the Radio Regulations—a vital international treaty governing the use of spectrum and geostationary and non-geostationary satellite orbits.

High-Profile Attendance at WRC-23 Opening Ceremony

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai, graced the opening ceremony. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, through a delivered message, stressed international cooperation’s potency in facing global challenges. Guterres underscored the pivotal role of radio frequencies in diverse sectors, emphasizing their role in bridging the digital divide. The call was made to expand radiocommunication services, aligning with Sustainable Development Goals for global advancement.

Technology’s Reliance on Radio-Frequency Spectrum

ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin stresses the vital role of fairly managing spectrum, noting its integral connection to everyday technology. She underscores the necessity for Radio Regulations to adapt to changing demands, ensuring the efficiency of current and future radiocommunication services and equipment.

Radiocommunications and Global Priorities

Eng. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, TDRA Director General, foresees the conference steering global development. Emphasizing smart cities, digital economy, knowledge society, and space, he expects broad positive impacts. The meeting aligns with global expectations, fostering aspirations for a sustainable and interconnected future.

Leadership and Objectives of WRC-23

H.E. Eng. Mohammed Al Ramsi, Deputy Director General for the Telecommunication Sector of TDRA, was elected as the chair of WRC-23. The conference, hosted by TDRA, is scheduled to take place from November 20 to December 15. Mario Maniewicz, ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau Director, stresses updating regulations for new technologies and growing spectrum needs. Maniewicz emphasizes revising regulations to match emerging technologies and safeguard essential radio services.

Cooperation for a Digital Future

In concluding remarks, Maniewicz expressed optimism about the conference’s success and urged the spirit of cooperation from ITU Membership. Emphasizing innovative technologies, he underscores their potential to monitor the changing planet and connect global communities. The importance lies in leaving a legacy of prosperity for billions, bridging gaps through technology’s transformative power.WRC-23 is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of radiocommunications and their impact on diverse global priorities.

The WRC-23 agenda items include:

  • Identifying additional frequency bands for the continued development of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), including the use of high-altitude platform stations as IMT base stations for the universal deployment of wireless networks.
  • Improvements to the international regulatory framework for geostationary orbit (GSO) and non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellites while promoting equitable access for all countries.
  • Use of satellite technologies for broadband services to improve connectivity, particularly in remote areas.
  • New spectrum to enhance radiocommunications in the aeronautical mobile service, including by satellite, and to facilitate the use of the space research and Earth exploration-satellite services for climate monitoring, weather prediction and other scientific missions.
  • The modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
  • The regulatory framework for the use of earth stations in motion on board aircraft and ships for communication with GSO and NGSO satellites.
  • The future of the ultra-high frequency (UHF) broadcasting band which has implications for television broadcast, programme-making and special events, as well as public protection and disaster relief.

    A Century of Spectrum Governance

    The Radio Regulations guarantee rational, equitable, efficient, and economical use of the radio-frequency spectrum, aiming to prevent harmful interference. Originating in the 1906 International Radiotelegraph Convention, this international treaty has seen 38 revisions over 117 years, evolving into a comprehensive four-volume agreement exceeding 2,000 pages.

    ITU Radiocommunication Assembly Precedes WRC-23

    Before WRC-23, the ITU Radiocommunication Assembly convened in Dubai (Nov 13-17), setting the groundwork for the ITU Radiocommunication Sector’s structure, working methods, and program.

    A Global Convergence

    WRC-23 anticipates 4,000 participants, bringing together delegates from ITU Member States and Radiocommunication Sector Members. The conference also welcomes observers from international organizations, equipment manufacturers, network operators, and industry forums. This diverse assembly underscores WRC-23’s global significance in shaping radiocommunications’ future.

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