UHF Frequency Allocations Modified at ITU WRC-07
November 23, 2007
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) World Radio Conference 2007 (WRC-07) ended Friday, and one of the items transacted was a modification of current UHF frequency allocations for mobile applications.
The U.S. delegation worked to obtain agreement to designate 698 to 806 MHz (U.S. TV Channels 52–69) for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), which includes mobile broadband. The U.S. delegates were partially successful, with designation of 698 to 862 MHz for IMT in Region 2 (the Americas) and nine countries in Region 3 (Bangladesh, China, Korea, India, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Singapore). Region 1, which includes Europe, excluded the lower 700 MHz band from IMT operations, starting instead at 790 MHz.
Conference decisions were announced in the Provisional Final Acts of WRC-07, available at http://www.itu.int/md/R07-WRC07-R-0001/en. More than 2,800 delegates representing 164 member states attended WRC-07.
"WRC-07 represents a major landmark for the future growth of the ICT [information and communication technology] industry, and everyone will benefit from the digital dividend that will emerge as a result of this conference," said Dr. Hamadoun Touré, secretary-general of ITU.
Mr. François Rancy, chairman of WRC-07, commented on the new allocations for IMT.
"There is a convergence of the needs of developing countries and developed countries to reduce the digital divide and this is the main success of this WRC-07 conference," said Rancy. "The regional groups fully collaborated to produce the spectrum identification for IMT—the concept that embraces advanced broadband mobile technology for use on a global basis."
WRC-07 added mobile as a primary use of spectrum at 3400–3600 MHz in many countries, but not in the United States where spectrum between 3400–4200 MHz is used for radars and commercial and military C-band satellite systems. WRC-07 made several changes and added footnotes to spectrum used for fixed and mobile satellite services. Refer to the tables in the Final Provisional Act for details.
Several shortwave broadcasters are now transmitting some programs using Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) technology. WRC-07 encouraged broadcasters to use the bands 5900–5950 kHz, 7300–7350 kHz, 9400–9500 kHz, 11600–11650 kHz, 12050–12100 kHz, 13570–13600 kHz, 13800–13870 kHz, 15600–15800 kHz, 17480–17550 kHz and 18900–19020 kHz "to facilitate the introduction of digitally modulated emissions in accordance with the provisions of Resolution 517 (Rev. WRC-07)."
Several countries, however, were allowed to continue to use the bands for fixed and land-mobile service communications. Many of the footnotes allowing this use carry the condition that these communications do not cause harmful interference to the broadcasting service.
The ITU news release on WRC-07 states the conference called for "spectrum harmonization for use by terrestrial electronic news gathering," but I wasn't able to find any specific language about this in the Final Provisional Acts.
Downloading a PDF copy of the Final Provisional Acts from http://www.itu.int/md/R07-WRC07-R-0001/en appears to require entering a ITU TEIS user name and password. I had no problem, however, in downloading the Microsoft version of the same document without a TEIS account, although I didn't use Microsoft Word to open it.