UBARoyal Belgian Amateur Radio Union

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Photo: Couloir

HAM Radio and WRC 2023

WRC every four years... After the previous WRC2019 in Sharm El Sheikh, the next WRC or World Radiocommunication Conferences, will take place from 20 November to 15 December 2023 in the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi or in Dubai.

The usefulness of WRC

Telecommunications is not a fixed and invariable given, but is subject to change and expansion. The evolution with regard to radio waves continues. Just think of satellites, drones, GPS, 5G with 6G by 2030, autonomously driving cars, Wi-Fi and many others that use the radio spectrum. World Radiocommunication Conferences regulates the global use of the radio frequency spectrum with possible adjustments or revisions for the geostationary satellites.
Two years before the conference, the agenda has been finalised with the agreement of the majority of Member States. WRC2019 captured what needs to be discussed with WRC2027. WRC2023 next year is already covering part of that. Responsible for this event is ITU and director Mario Maniewicz (picture).

Mr. Mario Maniewicz, director of the radio communications agency.

Discussion of resolution 774-WRC2019

The problem arises for radio amateurs holding a Class A operating certificate, not only in Belgium but worldwide. According to the Decision of the BIPT Council of 20 March 2019, they are allowed to operate on a secondary basis from 1240 MHz to 1300 MHz, subdivided into 1240-1270 MHz and 1270-1300 MHz. This year, from 23 May to 3 June, a preliminary study on the problem of frequencies 1240-1300 MHz took place in Geneva.
The conclusion was that technical and operational measures are needed to protect the primary frequency band 1240-1300 MHz for the benefit of the radionavigation-satellite service (space-to-Earth). It is recognised that the 1240-1300 MHz frequency band, on a secondary basis, is important to the amateur radio community around the world. But on a primary basis, the frequency band 1240-1300 MHz is allocated to the Radionavigation Satellite Service (RNSS).

Problems caused by interference

The ITU-RM1044 Recommendation is to be used as a guide in compatibility studies between the systems operating in the Amateur Radio and the Radio Navigation Satellite Service (RNSS). Harmful interference occurred during transmissions in the amateur service.
Following an investigation, the operator of a station causing interference was asked to cease transmissions. It should be noted that the number of RNSS receivers in the frequency band 1240-1300 MHz is currently limited. But the number of such receivers is expected to increase considerably through future generalised mass use. 

Secondary service and harmful interference

Secondary service broadcasting installations must not cause harmful interference to primary services for which frequencies have already been assigned or may be assigned. Amateur and amateur satellite services should respect the protection of the RNSS or radio navigation satellite service in the 1240-1300 MHz frequency spectrum.
It should be noted that some RNSS receivers in the 1240-1300 MHz band may be equipped with Pulse Blanking (OFDM data transmission) which may facilitate sharing with certain applications of the amateur services. The amateur service in the frequency band 1240-1300 MHz is used for speech and exchange of data and images.

ITU radio communications sector

This service was requested to provide a detailed overview of the various systems used by radio amateurs in the frequency band 1240-1300 MHz. Various technical and operational means should make it possible to guarantee protection in the primary service of the RNSS receivers operating (space-earth), but without removing the allocations in the secondary service of the amateur and amateur satellite services. This is an important fact for radio amateurs. These studies will be included in the report for discussion in WRC-23 by the director of the radio communications agency, Mr. Mario Maniewicz. WRC-23 can then take appropriate action.
The radio amateurs are confident that the commercial sector and the worldwide radio amateur community can come to a mutually satisfactory solution. Since the inception of radio communications, radio amateurs have provided numerous developments and progressive ideas.
The radio amateurs strive to further develop their knowledge and experiments in the segment from the higher frequency ranges from UHF, up to SHF and EHF. Who knows what the future will bring within the higher THF?

Text and picture: Freddy De Schuiteneer-ON3FDS