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2022 News Releases




Use of 23cm band may be restricted after WRC-23; WIA working for best outcome

Date : 01 / 01 / 2022
Author : Dale Hughes VK1DSH

Use of the 23cm amateur band may be heavily restricted globally following the World Radio Conference next year. Pressure to limit use of the 1240 – 1300 MHz amateur band to ensure coexistence with the radio navigation-satellite service (RNSS) has been building over recent years.

The issue came up at an International Telecommunications Union Radiocommunications Sector (ITU-R) meeting in late November. It is part of a raft of issues being tackled by Working Party 5A (WP5A), which met for 10 days between Monday 14 November and Friday 25 November 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland.

WP5A covers the land mobile service excluding IMT (International Mobile Telecommunications); amateur and amateur-satellites. Within WP5A there are five working groups that cover individual aspects of the listed services, including WG5A-1 which deals with all amateur service issues.

At present, the focus of WG5A-1 is to address WRC-23 agenda item 9.1b, the details of which are given in Resolution ITU-R 774. This topic is to address several cases of interference to radionavigation-satellite service (RNSS) receivers operating in the 1240 – 1300 MHz band by amateur stations in Europe.

However, because the 1240 – 1300 MHz frequency band is allocated to RNSS on a primary global basis and three RNSS systems operate within the band,it is a challenging and complicated topic with regional implications.

While removal of the amateur service from the band is specifically excluded by Res. 774, there is the serious possibility that amateur operation in the 1240 – 1300 MHz frequency band may be restricted in some way after WRC-23.

The main proponents of the RNSS community are the administrations of China, France and Russia, all of whom have significant resources and are active participants in the meetings.

The current proposal to address Res. 774 are through possible technical and operations measures that include a number ‘preferred’ frequency bands around the centres of activity for amateur applications, along with possible power and bandwidth restrictions.

The IARU is devoting significant resources to addressing the challenges posed by WRC-23 and its preliminary views are available on the IARU website here: Link

Barry Lewis G4SJH is the IARU lead on the topic. National member societies from all ITU-R Regions (including the WIA) are also attending the WP5A and WG5A-1 meetings and are helping to get a balanced and proportionate solution to the potential interference problem.

The Australian WRC-23 Preparatory process is also underway and the views of Australia’s amateur service are being taken into account in the development of Australia’s views on all agenda items going into WRC-23. Visit: Link

The next meeting of the Australian WRC-23 Preparatory Group is in Canberra on December 7. The WIA will have a representative at that meeting.

It is important that the WIA, and amateurs through their national societies and the IARU, actively participate in the meetings so that concerns of the amateur service are considered during the development of appropriate operational and technical measures and any resulting consequences from WRC-23 in late 2023.

Group photo, Geneva.
Delegates representing the amateur service at the most recent meeting of WP5A in Geneva: Left to right:Jon Siverling (US) W3ERA, Flávio Archangelo (Brazil) PY2ZX, Barry Lewis (IARU) G4SJH, Dale Hughes (Australia) VK1DSH, Paul Coverdale (Canada) VE3ICV and Hans Blondeel Timmerman(Netherlands) PB2T; not present for the photograph was Bernd Mischlewski (Germany) DF2ZC.

Aside from the in-person attendance there were amateur representatives that attended via the Zoom platform from Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Norway and Singapore.

Page Last Updated: Saturday, 03 Dec 2022 at 14:04 hours by Lee Moyle


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