ITU report on preparatory studies for the WRC 23 (Nov 20-Dec 15 in Dubai)

ITU Member States have approved a major report on the technical, operational, and regulatory materials for the preparation of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC 23).   The report represents a major step in the preparations for WRC-23 which will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 20 November to 15 December 2023.
It summarizes and analyses the results of extensive technical studies conducted by members of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), as well as possible solutions to satisfy WRC-23 agenda items. The report was approved at the conclusion of the 2nd session of the Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM23-2) held from 27 March to 6 April 2023 in Geneva Switzerland.
“The global management of radio frequency spectrum and associated satellite orbits is at the heart of ITU’s strategic goals to achieve universal connectivity and sustainable digital transformation,” said ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin. “With the uptake of innovative digital services accelerating worldwide, it is critical that we ensure they are secure, reliable, affordable and accessible, especially to the 2.7 billion people around the world who remain offline.”

Among the key issues highlighted during the two-week WRC 23 meeting are:

    • Identification of additional frequency bands for the continued development of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), including the use of high-altitude platform stations as IMT base stations for the universal deployment of wireless networks.
    • Improvements to the international regulatory framework for geostationary orbit (GSO) and non-geostationary (NGSO) satellites while promoting equitable access for all countries.
    • Use of satellite technologies for broadband services to improve connectivity, particularly in remote areas.
    • New spectrum to enhance radiocommunications in the aeronautical mobile service, including by satellite, and to facilitate the use of the Space Research and Earth exploration-satellite services for climate monitoring, weather prediction and other scientific missions.
    • The modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
    • Regulatory framework for the use of earth stations in motion on board aircraft and ships for communication with geostationary orbit (GSO) and non-geostationary (NGSO) satellites.
    • The future of the ultra-high frequency (UHF) broadcasting band which has implications for television broadcast, programme-making and special events, as well as public protection and disaster relief.

Over 1,900 participants from 125 ITU Member States attended CPM23-2. Also in attendance were representatives from ITU Radiocommunication Sector Members as well as delegates from various United Nations agencies and international organizations.

“The discussions and consensus achieved during CPM23-2 will pave the way to a successful world radiocommunication conference,” said Mario Maniewicz, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. “The outcomes of WRC-23 will have a tremendous impact on the development of innovative, futuristic radiocommunication services that enable secure, faster, and seamless global communications for all.”

“I am delighted that we have finalized this significant milestone in the preparations for WRC-23 despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic from the start of the preparatory process,” said Cindy-Lee Cook, Chairperson of the Conference Preparatory Meeting for WRC-23. “During the four-year study period, we experienced first-hand how essential digital connectivity is. This highlights the importance of the work we do to find new and innovative ways to provide broadband connectivity using terrestrial and space-based communication technologies.”

World radiocommunication conferences, held every three to four years, review and revise the ITU Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum, including satellite orbits.

WRC-23 will be preceded by the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-23) from 13 -17 November 2023. The RA is responsible for the structure, program and approval of radiocommunication studies.

Image Credit:  GSMA

Editor’s Note:

There’s a huge unresolved open issue from WRC 19: updating ITU-R recommendation M.1036 Frequency Arrangements for IMT to include the new 5G  mmWave frequencies specified by WRC 19.  At the conclusion of the last ITU-R WP 5D meeting in February, the WG on Spectrum Aspects and WRC 23 Preparations, could not agree on the revision of Recommendation ITU-R M.1036. It was not possible to resolve two remaining open issues and therefore, it was not possible to complete the revision at this WP 5D meeting.  Further work will be required at the next WP 5D in June with the aim of completing the revision for submission to ITU-R Study Group 5 for approval in November.


GSMA vision for more mobile spectrum in advance of WRC 23 this November

WRC 19 Report: IMT in the frequency bands 24.25-27.5GHz & 45.5-47GHz

WRC-23: International regulation of satellite services

WRC-23: A Decisive Year for 5G Spectrum Allocation


One thought on “ITU report on preparatory studies for the WRC 23 (Nov 20-Dec 15 in Dubai)

  1. 6 GHz Band for 5G Advancements in India according to Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI):
    With a greater demand for capacity, speeds, and coverage, there is a need for a greater amount of spectrum in the apt band suitable for deploying technologies. Echoing a similar perspective, COAI highlighted that the allocation of the 6 GHz spectrum band holds great importance for enhancing the quality and coverage of the mobile network in India. Allocating the full 6 GHz band to 5G communications is a move to address the escalating demand for data services across the country, said the Industry Body.

    “This decision not only aligns with the rapid growth of data consumption but also positions 5G as a pivotal technology for wide-area applications, including drones, telemedicine, and smart cities. Given that 5G is faster and can handle more data than Wi-Fi, allocating the 6 GHz band is essential to strengthen India’s digital infrastructure for future advancements. The historic agreement reached at the recent World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 held in Dubai, to open this spectrum band for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), vindicates the global acknowledgement of the demand by Indian TSPs to allocate this potent band for vital use in 5G, 5G Advanced, and the future 6G,” said COAI.

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