At World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15), currently under way in Geneva, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has reported further progress toward reaching consensus on a new 15 kHz-wide global secondary 60 meter Amateur Radio allocation at 5351.5-5366.5 kHz. Last week, Conference Working Group 4B agreed to the global secondary allocation, with power limits designed to protect primary services from harmful interference. The current compromise within the working group making the allocation possible now has cleared Committee 4, but one hurdle remains, and the issue is not final until it too is cleared.
“While this is a positive step to a worldwide secondary amateur allocation at 5 MHz it is not yet final until it has been approved by the Conference Plenary,” said IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, who attended the first part of the WRC-15. “The 15 kHz allocation on a secondary basis is the result of significant compromise by a number of stakeholders in this portion of the spectrum. It will provide the opportunity for access to 60 meters for countries that do not presently have a domestic allocation.”
As WRC-15 convened on November 2, a number of administrations and the regional telecommunications organization (RTO) representing Russia and 10 of its neighboring countries (RCC) were strongly and actively opposed to the new amateur allocation. After more than a dozen sub working group meetings, it became clear that the widest achievable allocation was 15 kilohertz, and that a power limit in the neighborhood of 15 W effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) would have to be part of the package.
“It took all the effort and resources of the entire IARU team to ensure this 15 kHz compromise and to persuade some administrations to abandon their no-allocation position,” said IARU Vice President Ole Garpestad LA2RR.
In other WRC-15 developments, a possible agenda item at the next WRC for an amateur allocation at 50 MHz in Region 1 cleared its first hurdle. A proposed agenda item to align the 160 meter allocation in Region 1 with the rest of the world was not likely to be accepted, however.
In addition to Ellam and Garpestad, the members of the IARU WRC-15 team included IARU Region 2 President Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM, and IARU Region 1 Vice President Faisal Al-Ajmi, 9K2RR.
A number of other amateurs were part of the IARU WRC-15 team while serving on a national delegation. They include Colin Thomas, G3PSM; Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T; Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP;Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN; Tafa Diop, 6W1KI; Don Wallace, ZL2TLL; Dale Hughes, VK1DSH’ Flávio Archangelo, PY2ZX; Ulrich Mueller, DK4VW; Brennan Price, N4QX, and Jon Siverling WB3ERA. Price and Siverling, both of the ARRL Technical Relations Office, are serving on the US delegation to WRC-15.
IARU hosted a small reception at WRC-15 on November 10 which was attended by a number of delegations and ITU senior leadership including ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao. Attending the reception and participating in part of the WRC were IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, and ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, who attended on behalf of the IARU International Secretariat.
IARU made arrangements for an emergency communications trailer to be on site during the first part of the Conference. IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans Zimmerman, HB9AQS/F5VKP, worked with IARU member society DARC and Notfunk Deutschland to provide for a communications trailer and antenna system that showcased Amateur Radio emergency communication capabilities. Zimmerman was on site to explain the use of Amateur Radio to delegates.
The IARU team continues to follow a number of agenda items which may impact the amateur services especially a possible WRC-19 agenda item for an allocation to accommodate small non-amateur, non-geostationary satellites.