Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN, RAC Special Advisor, is in Geneva, Switzerland attending Preparatory Meetings for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) until Friday, November 17. The current meetings are the fourth of a series of meetings which will continue until just before WRC-19 now scheduled to be held from October 28 to November 22, 2019.
Preparatory Meetings are usually held at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) headquarters in Geneva and are usually of two weeks duration. This time Bryan is attending as a member of the Canadian Delegation and also as an Expert Consultant for the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).
Preparatory Meetings primarily prepare documents on the agenda items identified for the upcoming WRC. They are in turn preceded by meetings and the submission of documents from the participating administrations, for example, Canada through its authorized government agency, the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED; formerly Industry Canada). The RAC representative is made a member of the delegation by invitation and Bryan's role is to advise on Amateur issues.
The principal Amateur Radio issue is an international authorization of the 50 to 54 MHz band in ITU Region 1 (Europe, Africa and the Middle East). Canada has submitted a contribution to this meeting indicating no concerns about interference to the Canadian users who are, of course, Radio Amateurs since 50 – 54 MHz is a Primary Allocation in Canada. Indeed, Canadian Amateurs would welcome harmonization of the six-metre band worldwide.
ITU-R Working Party 5A is chaired by Dr. José Costa, a Canadian, and the Canadian Delegation to WP-5A is being chaired by Ms. Cindy-Lee Cook of ISED.
In addition to Canada, there are Amateur delegates in Geneva this time representing their individual delegations and/or the IARU and they come from the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Norway, Brazil and Australia.
These meetings are also debating an expansion of the frequencies, powers and deployment of Radio Local Area Networks (RLANs) in the 5 GHz range. Canadian Amateurs have a secondary allocation here in 5650 to 5925 MHz which we already share with the Primary Users – principally meteorological radars – and with ISM (Wi-Fi, etc.).
Also warranting close attention is an agenda item proposing frequencies for wireless power transfer, e.g., charging cellphones and – significantly – larger devices including vehicles. Frequencies under discussion lie in the range 19 to 300 kHz and – possibly – just below the 40m Amateur band. Depending upon the frequencies planned and the technical characteristics there may be significant interference issues to users of the HF and VHF spectrum.
As he has done in recent meetings, Bryan will be tweeting comments on Amateur Radio issues from the meeting using the hashtag #RACatITU. You can also follow him via @ractweets.
Bryan will also be including a report in the next issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine at the conclusion of the meetings.
For more information about the Preparatory Meetings visit:
Calendar of Events: