Ofcom: Public Consultation on WRC-15

Logo WRC RA 2015The UK communications regulator Ofcom has started a public consultation on the key issues to be considered at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC).

These conferences are held approximately every four years and take key decisions concerning the identification and international harmonisation of spectrum bands.

Under a Government direction, Ofcom represents the UK at WRCs. The next conference takes place in Geneva from the November 2-27, 2015. It will consider a wide range of issues across a number of sector interests, including mobile broadband, maritime, aeronautical, satellite and science use of spectrum.

Ofcom’s consultation sets out the main issues to be discussed at the conference and the emerging UK position. The document also highlights the engagement process which Ofcom manages in order to allow stakeholders to meet with them and assist in the development of UK positions taken into the WRC.

Ofcom say they are keen to ensure that the development of UK positions for WRCs takes into account the views and concerns of all UK stakeholders. They have set up four separate working groups that are open to all stakeholders who have a relevant interest in international spectrum matters.
– Working Group A Scientific and Regulatory,
– Working Group B Satellite,
– Working Group C Aeronautical, Maritime and Amateur,
– Working Group D Mobile and Mobile Broadband.

The consultation document covers a number of proposals of interest to radio amateurs, among them are:

Agenda Item 1.1 – Additional allocations for Mobile (IMT) services and applications
This proposes 5725-5850 MHz as a candidate band for Wi-Fi. Both the Amateur and Amateur Satellite Services have allocations in 5725-5850 MHz. The segment 5830-5850 MHz is used for weak amateur satellite downlinks, e.g. UNITEC-1 and FITSAT-1 that depend on having a low noise floor. Wi-Fi could render this allocation unusable.

Question 3: Do you agree with Ofcom’s general approach on WRC-15 agenda item 1.1?

Question 10: Do you agree that the 5 350 – 5 470 MHz and 5 725 – 5 925 MHz bands could provide important additional capacity for Wi-Fi and similar systems? If so, and noting the need to protect both earth observation satellites and radar systems, do you agree that sharing solutions should be considered at WRC-15?

Agenda Item 1.4 Amateur service, on a secondary basis, in the 5250–5450 kHz band.
Allocate a portion of the 5250-5450 kHz band, globally, to the amateur service. Currently the band 5250 to 5450 kHz is allocated to the fixed and mobile services (not aeronautical) but not to the amateur service.
Norwegian radio amateurs already have an allocation from 5260 kHz to 5410 kHz.

Question 14: Do you have any comments on the potential use by the amateur service in the 5 250 to 5 450 kHz band?

Agenda Item 1.10 – Additional mobile satellite IMT allocations in the 22-26 GHz range
The Amateur and Amateur Satellite Service have a Primary allocation at 24.000-24.050 GHz that needs to be protected.

Question 18: Do you agree that the UK should not support new allocations for the mobile satellite service in 22-26 GHz as they are not justified and that the focus should instead be upon the continued protection of the incumbent services?

Agenda Item 1.18 – Radar for automotive applications in 77.5-78.0 GHz
The Amateur and Amateur Satellite Services have a Primary allocation at 77.500-78.000 GHz.

Question 25: Do you agree that the UK should support a generic radiolocation allocation in the 77.5-78 GHz band, where appropriate technical conditions are established?

Agenda Item 9.1, issue 9.1.8 – Regulatory aspects for nano and pico-satellites

Question 38: Do you agree that no specific measures need to be introduced for nano and pico-satellites and that the current approach to their regulation is sufficient?

8.1 Future WRC Agenda items

This lists several points of interest to the amateur Services which are included in the initial proposals for future agenda items within the CEPT. Discussions within CEPT are at a preliminary stage and no decisions have yet been made.
– Harmonisation of 1800-2000 kHz in Region 1 to align with the Amateur service in Regions 2 and 3
– Allocation of 50-52 MHz to the amateur service and amateur satellite service in Region 1;
– Harmonisation of amateur microwave sub-bands – notably 3400-3410 MHz in Region 1 with Regions 2 and 3

The later point is not explicit as to which aspects of 3400-3410 MHz should be harmonised. Is this harmonisation with regard to just the Amateur Service or does it also encompass the Amateur Satellite Service ? 3400-3410 MHz is an Amateur Satellite Service allocation in ITU Regions 2 and 3.

Question 42: Do you have any comments regarding UK positions for future WRC agenda items?

Question 43: Are there any other possible agenda items you wish to see addressed by future WRCs?

When responding to Ofcom’s consultation there is no need to answer every question, just the one(s) of interest to you. Other questions can be left blank or marked No Comment.

The closing date for responses is September 19, 2014.

You can respond online at
https://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/wrc15/howtorespond/form

Consultation document
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/wrc15/summary/WRC-15_ConDoc.pdf

WRC-15 consultation Page
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/wrc15/