Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN, RAC Special Advisor, is once again in Geneva, Switzerland attending the latest Preparatory Meetings for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19). He will be tweeting comments on Amateur Radio issues from the meeting using the hashtag #RACatITU. You can also follow him via @ractweets. Bryan provided the following preliminary report from Geneva:
World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC) play out over a four- or five-year period. The current cycle is working toward the WRC-19 Conference which will take place in October and November of 2019.
The agenda for a WRC is set at the conclusion of the previous Conference. Accordingly, the agenda items for the WRC-19 conference were chosen in late 2015 as WRC-15 wound up. This was immediately followed by a Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) which set out in general terms how the agenda items were to be studied in the four years leading up to the 2019 Conference.
The second and much-larger CPM meeting – known as CPM19-2 – is taking place now in Geneva to put the final touches on the documentation and options which, it is hoped, will guide the delegates in determining what changes to make to the international radio regulations so as to satisfy the agenda items.
CPM19-2 brings some 1,419 registered delegates to two weeks of deliberations at the Geneva International Conference Centre and the adjacent International Telecommunication Union buildings. The delegates comprise representatives of the ITU’s member states – the 193 members of the United Nations – as well as representatives from many of the ITU’s “sector” members which includes, notably, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).
Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN, is attending as a member of the thirty-strong Canadian delegation and has particular responsibilities for the several agenda items which may have an impact on the international frequency allocations to the Amateur Radio Service. Bryan is also participating when possible in the efforts of the IARU.
The agenda items which the Amateur representatives to CPM19-2 are watching closely include a proposal to create an international allocation for the 6 metre band in ITU Region 1 (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) similar to what has existed for decades in the other two ITU Regions. There are agenda items for new allocations for 5G mobile radio, for expansion of wireless access points and higher powers in 5 GHz, and an item to propose frequencies for high-power wireless charging systems for electric vehicles. Any of these could come to the detriment of existing Amateur Radio allocations.
The collective body of work arising from CPM19-2 will form a kind of “briefing book” for the delegates to the Conference. It is worth noting that the Conference decisions will be made exclusively by the designated representatives of the member states who often are not those who have worked on the agenda items over the previous four or five years. In addition, their decisions, following a practice used since the 1990s, will be taken by consensus and not by majority vote. This is the high bar the delegates to the current CPM19-2 try to keep in mind as they craft the alternative “methods” for each agenda item.
The World Radiocommunication Conference of 2019 will convene on October 28 and will take place – exceptionally – at the International Conference Centre in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt instead of in Geneva as in the past. It will conclude on November 22.
Stay tuned to the RAC website and to the pages of The Canadian Amateur magazine as we countdown to WRC-19.
Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN
WRC Special Advisor
RAC MarCom Director
RAC MarCom Director