wrc2012The World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12) has opened in Geneva, Switzerland, to review and revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of radio frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. The work of this international treaty-making Conference will be conducted over four weeks until 17 February to address the changes required to the regulation of orbit/spectrum resources in the interest of the users of these scarce resources, with global implications for policy-makers, regulators, the industry as well as end-users.

Fuelled by rapid technological developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) along with increasing convergence of radiocommunication services in today’s communication devices, there is an urgent need to ensure the best efficiencies in the use of spectrum, a finite resource. WRC-12 will examine the technical, regulatory and operational aspects to address frequency allocation and frequency sharing to ensure high quality of radiocommunication services for maritime and aeronautical transport as well as for scientific purposes related to the environment, meteorology and climatology, disaster prediction, mitigation and relief.

“The World Radiocommunication Conference will review and modify global spectrum regulations to ensure that this most precious resource is used effectively to benefit all players,” ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré said. “The aim is to ensure reliable radio services are available everywhere and at any time enabling people to live and travel safely while enjoying high performance radiocommunications.” 

The management of satellite orbital slots and associated spectrum resources will be a key area of focus for WRC-12. The Conference goal will be to ensure that the modifications made to the international procedures for the coordination and registration of satellite systems provide for equitable and efficient use of these resources. 

WRC-12 will also advance the introduction of mobile broadband and other advanced technologies such as the development of Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV), promote the use of the digital dividend resulting from the switch over to digital TV, as well as consider the potential for radiocommunications to act as a catalyst to reduce the impact of human activity on the environment.

François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, said, “The decisions taken by the ITU Membership during WRC-12 will play a vital role in contributing towards improved access and development of ICT wireless infrastructure, in particular in meeting the challenges of mobile broadband and ensuring that ICTs work for the benefit of all the world’s people. The objective is to enable the introduction of the latest technological developments, while protecting investments and favouring economies of scale.”