World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) that concluded last week with a gala signing ceremony in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, adopted the final acts to modify the international treaty that governs the use of wireless spectrum and satellite orbital positions

The conditions approved for these allocations closely align with the proposals that were approved and submitted by India and also aligns well with what was recommended by the ITU-APT foundation to the Government.

The final treaty signed at the conclusion of WRC-19 was signed by 135 government representatives in Sharm El-Sheikh after four weeks for hectic negotiation established the regulatory procedures for the deployment of 5G services in 26, 40, 47 and 66 GHz, procedures for earth stations on aircrafts, .ships and vehicles as well as spectrum for next generation of LEO constellations.

WRC-19 took place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from Oct. 28 to Nov. 22, 2019. 165 countries  signed the final treaty on November 22 – Decisions at WRC are  international treaties (binding on UN member nations)

For the first time, there was largest ever India participation with 53 Registered delegates representing various ministries, departments, service providers, vendors and industry associations.

22 Agenda items and 11 issues from previous conference were addressed. Agenda was prepared by the Previous WRC in 2015. WRC-19 prepared the agenda for WRC-23 as well as initial list of items for WRC-27

WRC-19 was preceded by 4 years of studies. Next cycle of studies for WRC-23 starts now.

Indian delegation lead by Member Technology of the Digital Communications Commission and Wireless Advisor to the Government of India, Ministry of Communications played a crucial role in reaching this path breaking outcome at a closed door session which went into late night deliberations.

Under the newly adopted regulatory regime, 5G handsets and infrastructure will need to protect the satellite observations of Earth by limiting their emissions in 24 GHz band to -29 dB now and to -35 after 2027. Similarly, the 5G towers emissions will be limited to -33dB now and -39 after 2027.

At the beginning of the conference, Russian countries and China were proposing very high restrictions on 5G services – exceeding -50  which would have made the rollout of the 5G services impossible. India had proposed a more balanced  limit of -35 which balanced the views of both 5G and satellite groups.

The new limits approved by WRC-19 between -29 to -39 staggered over next 8 years, agreed by the conference provides a very innovative approach that satisfies all the interests

WRC-19 also prescribed conditions for use of  18/28 GHz spectrum for Earth Stations in Motion (E-SIM) with suitable provisions to protect Terrestrial 5G  and microwave links. The WRC-19 resolution specified technical and regulatory conditions for any ESIM communicating with a GSO FSS space station within the frequency bands 17.7-19.7 GHz and 27.5-29.5 GHz

Additional frequency bands were also approved on global basis for High Altitude Platform Systems (HAPS) and a new Concept of HAPS 4G/5G Base stations was approved, which will provide 4g/5G service directly to mobiles.

WRC-19 under Agenda Item 7 issue A has established Regulatory procedures for non-geostationary satellite constellations in the fixed-satellite service, opening the skies to next-generation communication capabilities. Mega-constellations of satellites consisting of hundreds to thousands of spacecraft in low-Earth orbit are becoming a popular solution for global telecommunications, as well as remote sensing, space research and education

Mr. Bharat Bhatia, President of ITU APT Foundation of India who participated in this conference as a member of the Indian official delegation applauded the decision of the conference and the role played by the Indian delegation in brokering an agreement on this difficult issue  and said that both industry and Government worked in unison to  support this global agreement on 5G spectrum.

More than  3500 spectrum experts from 1 countries including senior  governments officials and academics are participating in WRC ’19. Visit the  WRC ’19 webpage to webpage to learn about the event.

ITU-APT Foundation of India (ITU-APT) is a non-profit, non-political, non partisan Industry foundation registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1960. ITU-APT is working for last 16 years with the prime objective of encouraging involvement of professionals, corporate, public/private sector industries, R&D organizations, academic institutions, and such other agencies engaged in development of Indian Telecom sector in the activities of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT).

The Foundation has been recognized as an International/Regional Telecommunications Organization by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). ITU-APT is also having close working relations with similar organizations in many other countries including, Japan, Indonesia and USA.

ITU-APT Foundation of India is sector Member of the ITU Development Bureau (ITU-D) and ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (ITU-T) which manifests its usefulness of the Indian Telecom industry The Foundation members are entitled to participate in the activities of ITU-D and ITU-T

Our members include many stalwarts of the telecom sector including many previous secretaries, members, advisors and DDGs of the DOT and Telecom Commission. We also have many corporate members from India and other countries including operators, vendors. The foundation has been responding to various government consultations in the past.