Government Technology

World Radiocommunication Conference Opens Today in Geneva

October 22, 2007 By

The World Radiocommunication Conference opened today in Geneva to address the worldwide use of radio frequencies and to meet the global demand for spectrum, fuelled by rapid technological developments and growth in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.

A finite resource, radio-frequency spectrum is the bedrock of state-of-the-art ICT, which, in turn is the driving force behind the world's economic and social systems. The future points toward a wireless world, said the International Telecommunication Union in a release.

Last held in the summer of 2003, the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) is the international forum for revising the Radio Regulations -- the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.

WRC-07 will also deal with any radiocommunication questions with worldwide ramifications. The WRC-07 agenda focuses on some 30 items related to almost all terrestrial and space radio services and applications, including aeronautical telemetry and telecommand systems, satellite services, mobile communications, maritime distress and safety signals, digital broadcasting, satellites for meteorology and the prediction and detection of natural disasters.

WRC-07 will consider options to improve the international spectrum regulatory framework. It will examine the evolution of existing, emerging and future applications, systems and technologies in order to meet the growing demand for spectrum, orbit access and operations -- an inevitable consequence of the accelerating convergence of radiocommunications services as well as the rapidly changing regulatory environment.

WRC-07 will run until 16 November. More than 1,500 delegates were present on the opening day. Over 3,000 participants from around the world are expected to attend the conference, which takes place at the Geneva International Conference Centre.

Addressing participants at the opening session, the chairman of WRC-07, Francois Rancy said, "This conference will influence the future of international wireless communications. The objective of WRC-07 is to allow each country to use the spectrum for its own needs, as long as it does not affect the capacity of other countries to share the resource." Rancy said that it was an honor for him, for France and for Europe to serve as chairman of WRC-07.

The Future of Wireless
The issues to be debated and discussed during WRC-07 reflect the pressing needs relating to spectrum and regulation for different wireless services and applications:
  • New capabilities of systems, components and related aspects of third generation and broadband wireless systems.
  • Access to spectrum for the provision of aeronautical telemetry and telecommand systems compatible with the increasing complexity of aircraft design and shortened timescales for aircraft production.
  • Monitoring of maritime identification digits (MID) resource within Maritime Mobile Service Identification (MMSI) number format.
  • Urgent requirement for worldwide harmonization of user requirements and spectrum usage of electronic news gathering.
  • Procedures for the introduction of high-definition TV services
  • Revision of the regulatory procedures applicable to satellite services, including the plan for fixed-satellite services that provide spectrum and orbit resources to the member states of ITU.

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