FCC seeks to clear radio amateurs out of 3.4 GHz

FCC SealAn FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposes to remove the existing non-federal allocations in the 3.3-3.55 GHz band.

The FCC say:

By taking the initial step needed to clear the band of allocations for non-federal incumbents, the Commission furthers its continued efforts to make more mid-band spectrum potentially available to support next generation wireless networks—consistent with the mandate of the MOBILE NOW Act.

What the NPRM Would Do:

• Propose to clear the 3.3-3.55 GHz band of existing non-federal users by removing the non-federal secondary radiolocation and amateur allocations in the 3.3-3.55 GHz band;
• Propose to relocate incumbent non-federal users out of the band;
• Seek comment on relocation options and transition mechanisms for incumbent non-federal users, either to the 3.1-3.3 GHz band or to other frequencies;
• Seek comment on how to ensure that non-federal secondary operations in the 3.1-3.3 GHz band will continue to protect federal radar systems; and
• Prepare the band for possible future shared use between commercial wireless services and federal incumbents, potentially making as much as 250 megahertz of spectrum available for flexible use, including 5G.

Regarding the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Service allocation they say:

12. With respect to amateur operations, is there sufficient existing amateur spectrum in other bands that can support the operations currently conducted in the 3.3-3.5 GHz band? We note that the 3.40-3.41 GHz segment is designated for communications to and from amateur satellites. We seek comment on: the extent to which the band is used for this purpose, whether existing satellites can operate on other amateur satellite bands, and on an appropriate timeframe for terminating these operations in this band.

Facilitating Shared Use in the 3.1-3.55 GHz Band
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – WT Docket No. 19-348
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-360941A1.pdf

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Eastablishes WT Docket No. 19-348
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-1202A1.pdf

WRC-19 Update: Small Satellites, the 1240-1300 MHz band and Final Report

WRC19 - PB2T, VE3QN, EI3IO, DK4VW, K1ZZ, VK1DSH and RSGB Spectrum Forum Chair Murray G6JYB image credit DK4VW

WRC19 – PB2T, VE3QN, EI3IO, DK4VW, K1ZZ, VK1DSH and RSGB Spectrum Forum Chair Murray G6JYB image credit DK4VW

In the final week the meetings at WRC-19 have been running until 3am in the morning in an attempt to get the work completed.

The RSGB have released their WRC-19 report covering small satellites and also the Amateur 1240-1300 MHz band.

The report notes “A lesson from the process indicates how difficult it may be in future to achieve any upgrade to other amateur allocations.”

Read the RSGB Small Satellites and 23cm report at
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/2019/11/20/wrc-19-day-18-satellites-and-23cm/

Friday, November 22 saw WRC-19 conclude its month long biggest ever conference. Many of the 3,300 delegates had started to travel home even before the release of the ‘Provisional Final Acts’ and closing ceremony.

The ITU website has released the provisional acts as a huge 567-page PDF document—a tribute to the the hardworking editorial and translation teams at the conference. These provisional acts are due to come into force on January 1, 2021, so no early changes are currently expected in practice.

Read the RSGB WRC-19 Final report at
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/2019/11/22/wrc-19-day-20-and-finally/

WRC-19 Provisional Final Acts – 567 page document
https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/conferences/wrc/2019/Documents/PFA-WRC19-E.pdf

IARU: WRC-19 Grinds On – Week 3

ITU WRC-19 LogoThe IARU has issued its report on Week 3 of the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from October 28 to November 22, 2019.

With just 3-1/2 days left for substantive work – the final session of the Plenary to approve texts to be included in the Final Acts is scheduled to end at noon Thursday, November 21 – delegates at WRC-19 face a daunting workload as the conferees try to reach consensus on several remaining issues including the agenda for the next WRC.

Future agenda items: As of now, no choices have been made as to which of more than three dozen proposed topics will be placed on the WRC-23 agenda. Each of the proposed agenda items would require studies to be conducted in the 2020-2023 timeframe, but ITU resources will not accommodate more than about half. Some face strong opposition and others remain ill-defined even at this late stage of the conference. The responsible committee is scheduled to complete its work in just one more day. It will be a long day.

Short Duration Satellites: There is still no agreement on how to protect existing services and uses of the uplink frequency band proposed for telemetry, tracking and command of these “simple” satellites.

5725-5850 MHz: This part of the amateur secondary allocation, which includes an amateur-satellite downlink at 5830-5850 MHz, is the subject of an unresolved conflict over parameters for wireless access systems including radio local area networks.

Frequencies above 275 GHz: This upper frequency range is not allocated but several bands are identified for passive (receive-only) use and administrations are encouraged to protect them from harmful interference. With that in mind, WRC-19 has identified other bands above 275 GHz for the implementation of land mobile and fixed service applications. The use of these bands for applications in other services, including amateur experimentation, is not precluded.

50 MHz in Region 1: The compromise agreement reported last week (see the IARU news release dated 10 November) survived review at the Working Group and Committee levels and awaits approval in Plenary.

With the 50 MHz issue essentially settled the IARU team is devoting most of its energy to explaining why the proposed agenda item for 1240-1300 MHz described in last week’s release is unnecessary and undesirable.

While IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, left the conference at the end of the second week he is still a visible presence as a six-minute video interview is replayed on monitors scattered around the halls of the conference center. See it for yourself at

Source: IARU Press Release available on the new ARRL-IARU email group. You can join at https://groups.arrl.org/g/ARRL-IARU/

IARU update regarding Amateur Satellite allocations

IARU Team at WRC-19

IARU Team at WRC-19

The second week of the World Radiocommunication Conference reports on the status of two issues affecting the amateur satellite service.

In a report written by Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, first is an agenda item currently under review during this WRC-19 session; second is planning for future pressure on frequencies for the amateur satellite service.

Current WRC-19

While it does not directly affect us – work at WRC-15 saw to that – we are following an agenda item that seeks spectrum for telemetry, tracking and command in the space operation service for non-GSO satellites with short duration missions (CubeSats, among others).

We would like a solution to be found to cut down on the misuse of the very limited amateur-satellite spectrum for commercial applications. Discussions are focusing on spectrum near 137 MHz (down) / 149 MHz (up) but reaching agreement is proving to be very difficult.

Future – WRC-23

With the spectrum from 8.3 kHz to 275 GHz fully allocated and some bands above 275 GHz already identified for particular uses, any proposal for new allocations involves sharing with one or more incumbent services.
The pressures for spectrum access to accommodate new uses for commercial purposes are intense; for an established service such as ours, any WRC that does not reduce our own useful spectrum access is a success.

The idea of including the amateur two meter band in a study of non-safety aeronautical mobile service applications has not resurfaced. However, the IARU is concerned with a proposed item for WRC-23 entitled: “Review of the amateur service and the amateur-satellite service allocations to ensure the protection of the radionavigation-satellite service (space-to-Earth) in the frequency band 1240-1300 MHz.”

Our regulatory status is already clear. The amateur service is secondary in this band and the amateur-satellite service is permitted to operate in the Earth-to-space direction on a non-interference basis in the band 1260-1270 MHz. In the international Radio Regulations this is all the protection a primary service such as radionavigation-satellite requires; implementation is up to individual administrations.

The one well-documented case of interference to a Galileo receiver that prompted this proposed agenda item occurred more than five years ago and was quickly resolved by the administration concerned. There have been no known interference cases to user terminals.

An amateur service allocation of 1215-1300 MHz was made on a primary, exclusive basis in 1947, later downgraded to secondary to accommodate radiolocation (radar) and narrowed to 1240-1300 MHz. The radionavigation-satellite service was added in 2000. As a secondary service amateur radio has operated successfully in the band for many years.Given the relatively modest density and numbers of amateur transmissions in the band, we view the Galileo-oriented proposal for an agenda item as disproportionate.

The IARU recognizes the concern and does not want the amateur service to affect the operation of the Galileo system in any way. It has already updated its operational recommendations for amateur stations in Region 1. If necessary, further recommendations may be developed and rolled out globally.

In CEPT, two preliminary measurement studies of Galileo receiver performance/vulnerability (from 2015 and 2019) are currently being evaluated. Discussions can be more timely and focused within CEPT.

The IARU believes that this process already offers the potential for a satisfactory solution and thus the issue does not warrant WRC action and the commitment of ITU resources.

Source: http://www.iaru.org/news–events

Read the RSGB WRC-19 updates at https://rsgb.org/main/blog/category/news/special-focus/wrc-19/

RSGB WRC-19 Update: 23cms and A Long Day

IARU Team at WRC-19

IARU Team at WRC-19

The RSGB have posted an update on activities at the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference during Tuesday, November 5.

A somewhat difficult start to the day’s proceedings began with another AI-10 Proposal being introduced for WRC-23 – protecting RNSS (Galileo etc) from secondary amateur usage in the 23cm band.

Future mobile/IMT was also being discussed in the 3-18 GHz range (including our 10 GHz band). Another item may even affect 241 – 700GHz. It will be a while before the WRC-23 agenda down-selection gets agreed at the conference. A busy day then continued as a raft of topics was attended, with few signs of positive progress.

Read the RSGB Day 7 report at
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/2019/11/05/wrc-19-day-7-23cms-and-a-long-day/

Other RSGB WRC-19 updates at
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/category/news/special-focus/wrc-19/

PocketQube Workshop videos available

3rd PocketQube Workshop GlasgowThe 3rd PocketQube Satellite Workshop, hosted by Alba Orbital, was held September 5-6, 2019, in Glasgow. Talks given at the event are now available on YouTube.

Among the presenters were:
• Stuart Robinson GW7HPW, $50SAT Team
• Julian Fernandez EA4HCD, Fossasat-1
• Zac Manchester KD2BHC, Chipsats
• Constantin Constantinides MM6XOM, Unicorn-2

Talk schedule and PDF slides at http://www.albaorbital.com/3rd-pocketqube-workshop

Watch the videos at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7qrB8LwUKBhszyEVAUuL8kvgoA8eu4JG

Alba Orbital https://twitter.com/AlbaOrbital