Highlights from the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015

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This year’s WRC concluded last week in Geneva, after three weeks of extensive discussion primarily focused on addressing band allocation issues from the opposing broadcasting and satellite sectors.

The WRC is held every three to four years and is responsible for the review and – if necessary –the modification of Radio Regulation along with addressing worldwide radio communication matters.  The WRC-15 brought together 3300 participants, representing 162 out of ITU’s 193 Member States including 500 participants representing 130 other entities attending as observers.

The conference ended with numerous major outcomes, including the allocation of the 700 MHz spectrum as a global mobile broadband resource , enabling it to be used for LTE-Advanced, IoT and 5G services alike. At the same time, the WRC kept spectrums below 694MHz with the TV sector, despite a tendency of many countries repurposing it for mobile networks.

The next conference, to be held in 2019, already lists some interesting agenda items including 5G spectrum allocations, primarily high frequency spectrums of 6 to 100 GHz, a currently underused area that would be able to supply the growing need for mobile data.  The importance of this decision was reassured by John Giusti, CRO of the GSMA who commented “This is a critical first stage in the journey towards a new wave of mobile innovation, considerably faster than existing technologies and driving a hyper-connected society in which mobile will play an even more important role in people’s lives”.

The other side of the table, featured satellite providers who understood that some of the bands currently used for satellite  services ( Ka band in particular) are being considered by the mobile operators for hosting the 5G services. Their voice s were heard and the WRC did not include any worldwide harmonized bands in C, Ku or Ka bands to be considered as future 5G spectrums, keeping the satellite industry assured that their users right are protected .