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WRC-12 makes quick progress in the first week

26 January, 2012: ITU’s WRC-12 conference in Geneva made a quick start when solutions to three of the 33 agenda items were agreed upon at the Committee level. A final ratification by the entire Plenary meeting is expected tomorrow. These include issues related to the mobile-satellite service and the meteorological-satellite service. 

Progress has also been made in respect of the three core broadcasting related issues. There is a general commonality of views on the ENG frequency harmonization issues, which may result in ‘No Change’ to the current Radio Regulations. The issue of sharing the upper portion of the UHF band with mobile service has run into some rough weather with the introduction of proposals seeking consideration of an additional band (694 to 790 MHz) under this agenda item. This is being hotly contested by many countries.

The Ultra-HDTV broadcasting by satellite (BSS) agenda item is making progress. The real groundwork on this was taken up today.  

The ABU is following 10 agenda items (1.4, 1.5, 1.10, 1.13, 1.14, 1.15, 1.17, 1.19, 1.22 and 1.25) at this conference which are of interest to the broadcasting and satellite broadcasting industry. A lot of effort has gone into studies on these issues within the ABU over the last four years, which resulted in two ABU documents contributed to the conference, published as document nos. 144 and 145.

On 25 January, the first meeting of the “ABU delegates” from among the WRC-12 participants was organized at the conference centre. The meeting was briefed major proposals to the conference pertaining to the agenda items of interest to the broadcasting industry. It also discussed strategies to be adopted from the ABU point of view. 

As a new initiative, the World Broadcasting Unions-Technical Committee (WBU-TC) organised a ‘working lunch’ with the national spectrum regulators and their regional groups. Hosted by the European Broadcasting Union, among the participants were the Chairman of WRC-12, representatives of the European Group (CEPT), African Group (ATU), Asian Group (APG), ITU-BR Director and the broadcasting Unions. The WBU-TC presented the viewpoint of the broadcasters, highlighting the pressure faced by the broadcasters in view of the rapidly increasing demands to share the spectrum used by them. The regulators showed understanding of the problems and indicated that this matter will receive due consideration.

Sharad Sadhu, ABU