Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Use It or Lose It – Part One

Our April editorial discussed the importance of making greater use of our microwave bands (and steps to accomplish that) amid growing commercial pressure for use of those frequencies. The following two news items further illustrate that point. - Ed.

The member states of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that will participate in the World Radiocommuniation Conference (WRC-23) later this year in Dubai completed their second preparatory session in late March. According to the ITU, items on the conference agenda include:

  • Identification of 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 (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).
  • Regulatory framework for the use of earth stations in motion on board aircraft and ships for communication with geostationary orbit (GSO) and non-geostationary (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.

“With the uptake of innovative digital services accelerating worldwide, it is critical that we ensure they are secure, reliable, affordable and accessible, especially to the 2.7 billion people around the world who remain offline," said ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin (who is also KD2JTX). The worldwide expansion of digital wireless services puts additional pressure on amateur radio allocations above 225 MHz, virtually all of which are already allocated to hams on a secondary basis.