The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radiocommunication Assembly 2023 (RA-23) has set the agenda for development of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT)‑2030 for 6G and sustainable use of spectrum and orbital resources.

The assembly adopted a resolution that will guide the development of standards and radio interface technologies for the 6th generation of IMT systems. Among other outcomes, RA‑23 also adopted a resolution on gender equality to strengthen, accelerate and widen the active involvement of women in the work of the ITU radiocommunication sector (ITU‑R).

Commenting on the development, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, secretary-general, ITU, said, “The work of the RA helps us shape how we live together in our interconnected world. The outcomes of this meeting ensure a promising future for ITU’s radiocommunication sector and, through the groundbreaking resolution on gender equality, for women in the radiocommunications field.”

Highlights during the RA‑23 include:

  • ITU-R Resolution 65, paving the way for studies on the compatibility of current regulations with potential 6th generation IMT radio interface technologies for 2030 and beyond.
  • This will be supportive of further cooperation with other United Nations organisations and beneficial to the satellite industry.
  • Conclusion of a new ITU‑R recommendation on the protection of the radio navigation-satellite service and amateur satellite services.
  • Revision of resolution ITU‑R 8‑3 to promote the participation of engineers and scientists from developing countries in propagation campaigns in tropical and subtropical regions of the world for which there is limited data monitoring.

​Meanwhile, Mario Maniewicz, director, radiocommunication bureau, ITU, said, “This RA has achieved significant accomplishments and the outcomes will establish the framework for the activities of the ITU radiocommunication study groups in the upcoming four-year study period. ​We have set the stage for the development of new technologies with the potential to deliver better capacity and coverage everywhere, bridging the digital divide, as well as providing possible solutions to the challenges and impacts they will have on our lives.”

The adoption of the gender resolution was called for by the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference’s “Declaration on Promoting Gender Equality, Equity and Parity in the ITU Radiocommunication Sector.” The resolution calls on the ITU radiocommunication sector to strengthen and accelerate all efforts to ensure that its policies, work programmes, information dissemination activities, publications, study groups, seminars, courses, assemblies, and conferences reflect the commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

With Australia’s Carol Wilson serving as the first woman to chair an ITU RA, the resolution further calls on ITU member states to support the inclusion of women in all aspects and levels of ITU‑R activities and to undertake a variety of specific actions to promote and increase the interest of, and opportunities for, women and girls in science, technology engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, particularly in electrical engineering and computer science.

However, RA‑23 revised resolution ITU‑R 5‑8 which established the work programme and questions for the radiocommunication study groups for 2024‑2027. New chairs for the ITU‑R study groups were also appointed. Furthermore, over 1,300 delegates from 128 ITU member states attended the Assembly which meets every four years to set the future work programmes for the ITU radiocommunication sector, approve radiocommunication standards (ITU-R recommendations) and resolutions.