ITU-R SG5 Meetings in Geneva
Dale Hughes VK1DSH attended the Study Group 5 (SG5) of the International Telecommunications Union meeting n Geneva between the 8th and 18th of November 2010. He represented the Wireless Institute of Australia as part of an eight person Australian delegation; other delegates were from various government agencies, broadcasters, and spectrum engineers. Similar delegations from many other nations also attended.
Dale Hughes VK1DH & Michael Owen VK3KI
SG5 deals with fixed and mobile communications services including the amateur radio service. The deliberations of the various Working Parties that make up the Study Group are ultimately fed into the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) which creates or modifies the ITU Radio Regulations, the international regulation of the various radio services. The next WRC is in 2012.
Among the agenda items covered at the meeting was WRC 12 Agenda Item 1.23 "Allocation of about 15 kHz in parts of the band 415-525.6 kHz to the amateur service on a secondary basis". WP5.1 undertakes the necessary engineering studies to demonstrate the compatibility of amateur transmissions with other primary users in the frequency range. In this case it will be other existing and proposed Maritime services. Preliminary indications are that an amateur frequency allocation is unlikely to be made in the range of 490-510 kHz and that another range of frequencies in the range of 415-490 kHz may be sought.
During the meetings a number of other issues that may affect amateur radio operations were monitored:
1. "Power Line Telecommunications". This topic is related to the "Broadband over Power Lines" problem that amateurs have faced. Many other users of the radio spectrum are concerned about where PLT technology is heading and how it has the potential to disrupt radio communications.
2. "Oceanographic Radar" is another potential problem as it uses parts of the High Frequency spectrum to observe ocean conditions, ships etc. Current indications are that amateur frequencies are not being considered for use by this service.
In addition to the above issues there is ongoing work: All radio services have associated ITU recommendations and reports which require periodic revision to ensure that they reflect the current state and operational practice of the associated radio service. In the case of the amateur services the documents which describe the amateur and amateur satellite service are due for revision. That work will progress and the revised documents will be fed back to the ITU through submissions made by national radio administrations; in our case the ACMA, or the IARU as a Sector Member.
The WIA believes that attendance at the ITU is critical to the amateur services continued access to the radio spectrum in an age of increasing demand and competition for access to the radio frequency spectrum.
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