Highlights of CITEL WRC Preparatory Meeting: August 12-16 Ottawa

Radio amateurs at CITEL WRC Preparatory Meeting Ottawa

Radio amateurs at CITEL WRC Preparatory Meeting Ottawa

CITEL, the telecommunications committee of the Organization of American States, concluded a week of meetings on Friday, August 16 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa.

The Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) report:

These meetings have as their principal purpose to try to establish common positions on agenda items which will be acted upon during the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) which begins on Monday, October 28 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The following Radio Amateurs (from left to right in the above photo) were present at the CITEL meetings and were tasked with looking out for issues of concern to the Amateur Radio Service:

• Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN – on the Canadian Delegation and Radio Amateurs of Canada’s Special Advisor to World Radiocommunication Conferences
• George Gorsline, VE3YV – member of the Executive Committee for the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU-R2)
• Flavio Archangelo, PY2ZX – on the Brazilian Delegation and International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 CITEL Coordinator
• Serge Bertuzzo, VA3SB, Radio Amateurs of Canada’s International Affairs Officer
• Jon Siverling, WB3ERA – on the American Delegation and the Technical Relations Officer for the American Radio Relay League (ARRL)

The following are the principal highlights of the week’s activities for Radio Amateurs:

Six Metres: There are now 14 signatories to an Inter-American Position (IAP) which in effect voices no objection to an allocation in 50 – 54 MHz to the Amateur Service in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Region 1 (Europe, the Mideast and Africa).

Six Metres: Amateurs were successful in adding wording to protect the Amateur primary allocation in 50 – 54 MHz from a US proposal to study implementing space-based Earth Exploration Service radars to operate in or close to 45 MHz.

47 GHz: Amateurs were successful in having Mexico remove the frequency segment 47 – 47.2 GHz from their proposal to study several additional frequency ranges for the Fixed Satellite Service.

47 GHz: An IAP supported by 11 member states supports No Change (NoC) to the existing (Amateur Primary) allocation in 47 – 47.2 GHz. Specifically, not to be considered for sharing with 5G International Mobile Telephony (IMT).

5 GHz WAS/RLAN: An IAP supported by 12 member states supports No Change (NoC) to the existing allocations in 5725 to 5850 MHz and 18 member states support No Change in the range 5850 to 5925 MHz (as opposed to using these frequency ranges for higher-power and outdoor wireless access points). The Amateur secondary allocation in Canada is 5650 to 5925 MHz.

WPT(EV): Wording in a Canadian contribution with additions from the American delegation has been added relative to a WRC-19 agenda item which seeks to identify frequencies for medium and high-power wireless charging of electric vehicles. The wording emphasizes the requirement to properly set standards to avoid harmful interference to radio services from WPT(EV) systems.

Note: The French proposal to consider 144 – 146 MHz for sharing with the aeronautical mobile service was not on the CITEL agenda. It will be considered next in a CEPT meeting in Ankara in late August. For more information please visit:
https://www.rac.ca/2-metre-sharing-proposal-is-on-cept-conference-preparatory-group-agenda/

This was the last CITEL meeting before the upcoming WRC-19 Conference; therefore, the above is a fair representation of the status of the various Amateur issues going into that meeting.

Stay tuned to the WRC-19 webpage on the RAC website for more updates https://www.rac.ca/wrc/

Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN
Special Advisor to World Radiocommunication Conferences
Radio Amateurs of Canada

144 and 1240 MHz Bands – RSGB information

RSGB volunteers continue to be engaged with IARU and Ofcom on WRC matters including the 144 MHz and 1240 MHz bands as well as WRC-19 Agenda Items in CEPT-PTD (50 MHz, WPT, 5GHz) and CEPT-PT1 (24/47 GHz).

At UK level, RSGB are members of the Ofcom IFPG groups that consider these matters.

The RSGB has updated their special focus page with the latest documents and CEPT meeting minutes. See Proposed WRC-23 Agenda Items at
https://rsgb.org/main/news/special-focus/wrc-19/wrc-19-papers/

June 21 – RSGB Update on 144MHz and 1240 MHz band threats
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/headlines/2019/06/21/update-on-144mhz-and-23cm-threats/

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CEPT Project Team A, responsible for some aspects of the CEPT position for WRC-19, met in Prague from June 17-21. The meeting minutes are available for download

Regarding the 1240-1300 MHz band the minutes say:

The representative of the European Commission (EC) stated that, RNSS systems are global by nature, and that the radio amateur service is allocated in all regions. Once RNSS receivers (including Galileo E6 receivers) are deployed ubiquitously, the number of interference cases coming from radio amateur emissions will increase significantly and represent an important burden to Administrations, unless clear guidelines are available in order to drive the amateur community towards an appropriate usage of their allocation.

For these reasons, the EC believes that the French proposal of a WRC-23 agenda item is essential in order to complement the work being started within CEPT, and to find a sustainable solution for all parties. Also, the EC considers that WRC-23 is the right time for a decision enabling the better regulation of the RNSS-amateur coexistence at international level, as Galileo will start providing freely available high accuracy services in the 1260-1300 MHz band on a global basis from 2020.

The EC noted that some of the 7 Administrations which objected to the French contribution are open to consider a revised version of the proposal, and therefore believes that relevant support may be achievable at CPG level, following further discussions until end August.

Regarding the 144 MHz band the minutes say:

The representative of the IARU stated that, the IARU views with grave concern the element of the WRC-23 agenda item proposal 1.6 in the AI10 ECP, on studies towards a possible new allocation to the aeronautical mobile service in the band 144-146 MHz. This band is an important and the only globally harmonised primary allocation to the amateur and amateur satellite services in the VHF range. Examination of the RR below and above the 144-146 MHz range suggests that alternative proposals could be developed that could provide further spectrum for the aeronautical applications without impacting on this amateur service spectrum. The proposal provides no justification for addressing this band and the IARU believes that sharing with airborne systems is likely to be difficult and will lead to constraints on the development of the amateur and amateur satellite services in this band.

Meeting minutes https://cept.org/Documents/cpg-pt-a/52280/pta-19-105_minutes-pta-7

See the WRC-23 Agenda Items update issued by IARU Region 1 June 21
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/06/21/144-and-1240-mhz-bands-wrc-23-agenda-items-update/

Some background on previous CEPT WGFM and CPG/PTA discussions on the 1240-1300 MHz band
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/05/31/1240-1300-mhz-band-discussed-by-cept-wgfm-and-cpg-pta/

144 and 1240 MHz bands – WRC-23 Agenda Items – Update

IARU was represented at the meeting of CEPT Project Team A (responsible for some aspects of the CEPT position for WRC-19), held in Prague from June 17-21.

The IARU Region 1 website reports:

Of particular interest were discussions on two proposed Agenda items for WRC-23, concerning the sharing of the 1240-1300 MHz band with the Galileo navigation system and the proposal from France to study a range of frequencies, including the 144 MHz amateur band, for future aeronautical applications.

The output from PTA does not carry forward the Galileo proposal, but it is likely that further discussions will take place prior to the Conference Preparatory Group meeting in August. Meantime work on this issue will also continue in other specialist CEPT forums. IARU will continue to support this approach and it believes this will be the most efficient method for developing the sharing guidance required to protect Galileo operations in a timely manner.

Regarding new aeronautical frequencies (including 144-146 MHz), the proposal was not strongly opposed by administrations and has been carried forward to the higher level CEPT Conference Preparatory Group (CPG) meeting in August for final adoption.

IARU views with grave concern any proposal to include the 144 MHz band in the proposed aeronautical agenda item and will be making every effort to fully protect amateur radio interests and seek the support of regulators in this regard.

The band 144-146 MHz is allocated globally to the amateur and amateur satellite services on a primary basis. It is the only globally harmonised VHF band for the amateur and amateur satellite service. As such it is an important and widely used part of the amateur spectrum with a vast installed base of both terrestrial/maritime amateur users and systems and operational satellite stations including the International Space Station (ISS).

This heavily used band supports a large number of repeater stations, segments for weak-signal long distance terrestrial and EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) communications, satellite and ISS usage, data services, as well as conventional terrestrial and tropospheric communications. The Primary status of the band has also enabled a number of amateur aeronautical uses including on manned flights and high-altitude balloons. Supporting all of this is a wide variety of commercial and experimental equipment, ranging from ultra-low noise preamplifiers for sensitive receivers, software defined radios and transmitting systems that can deliver high EIRP levels when needed to overcome high loss propagation paths.

Given the propagation to/from an aircraft at altitude, it is entirely possible that harmful interference to sensitive amateur and amateur satellite receivers will be caused over a 1,000 km radius of a single aircraft.

IARU will shortly be providing a brief to Member Societies and other interested parties, asking them to discuss the French proposal with their administrations well in advance of the August CEPT-CPG meeting.

It is possible that France will seek to introduce into other Regional Telecommunications Organisations (RTO) the same proposal to study the 144-146 MHz band for aeronautical use. IARU will provide a brief shortly to enable representations to be made to administrations in countries under those RTOs for protection of this amateur spectrum allocation.

Source: IARU Region 1 http://iaru-r1.org/

The UK Microwave Group Tweeted:
“We hear only one admin (Germany) opposed the 144MHz proposal – no one else.”
https://twitter.com/UKGHZ/status/1142180732493803522

Download the documents from the CEPT CPG Project Team A meeting in Prague June 17-21 from
https://cept.org/ecc/groups/ecc/cpg/cpg-pt-a/client/meeting-documents/?flid=5624

Meeting Minutes https://cept.org/Documents/cpg-pt-a/52280/pta-19-105_minutes-pta-7

France proposes 144-146 MHz for Aeronautical Mobile Service
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2019/june/france-proposes-144-146-mhz-for-aeronautical-mobile-service.htm

1240-1300 MHz band discussed by CEPT WGFM and CPG/PTA
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/05/31/1240-1300-mhz-band-discussed-by-cept-wgfm-and-cpg-pta/

1240-1300 MHz IARU Region 1 paper PTA(19)069 – RNSS Proposal WRC-19 AI 10
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2019/06/PTA19069_IARU_AI-10_Amateur-GNSS_Final.pdf

Could a new licence class help counter threats at VHF and above?
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2019/june/could-a-new-licence-counter-threats-at-vhf-and-above.htm

WRC-23 Agenda Items may impact 144 MHz and 1240 MHz bands

IARU Region 1 notes that there are two proposals under discussion in Europe as possible future Agenda Items at WRC 2023, which potentially could impact important amateur radio frequencies.

IARU Region 1 has posted:

The following sets out the current IARU position on these proposals.

A proposal from France to consider the band 144-146 MHz as a primary allocation to the Aeronautical Mobile service, as part of a broader consideration of the spectrum allocated to that service.

The band 144-146 MHz is allocated globally to the amateur and amateur satellite services on a primary basis. This is one of the few primary allocations to the amateur service above 29.7 MHz and as such is an important and widely used part of the amateur spectrum with a vast installed base of users and operational satellite stations.

IARU views with grave concern any proposal to include this band in the proposed study. It will be representing this view energetically in Regional Telecommunications Organisations and in ITU to seek to obtain assurances that the spectrum will remain a primary allocation for the amateur services.

A proposal to study the amateur allocation in the 1240-1300 MHz (“23cm”) band following reported cases of interference to the Galileo navigation system.

IARU is aware of a handful of cases where interference to the Galileo E6 signal has been reported. In all cases these have been resolved by local action with the full cooperation of the amateur stations concerned.

IARU does not want the amateur service to affect the operation of the Galileo system in any way. Joint studies have been carried out to assess the true vulnerability of the system and, based on these, IARU regards the proposal to initiate an Agenda item for WRC-23 as premature.

The IARU position is that proper technical assessment of the issues involved should be made in the relevant CEPT study group. Proper account needs to be taken of the operational characteristics of the amateur service in order to develop sensible and proportionate measures that will facilitate the continued utility of the band for amateur experimentation whilst respecting the primary status of the GNSS service.

IARU is ready to cooperate fully in any studies and shares the objective of reaching a secure and permanent solution to the issues of sharing in this band.

IARU asks its Member Societies to draw this information to the attention of their members, and to refrain at this time from making speculative public comments about the situation until further progress has been made in regulatory discussions. IARU is also ready to discuss this issue with other societies not in IARU membership.

Source IARU Region 1
https://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/88-news/1864-wrc-23-agenda-items

1240-1300 MHz band discussed by CEPT WGFM and CPG/PTA
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/05/31/1240-1300-mhz-band-discussed-by-cept-wgfm-and-cpg-pta/