Over 2800 delegates representing 164 Member States and 104 Observers attended the four-week Conference, marked by intense negotiations on the future of wireless communications. Rapid technological developments and growth in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector have fuelled the demand for spectrum.
The international treaty, known as Radio Regulations governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits were revised and updated by WRC-07 to achieve the global connectivity goals of the 21st Century.
Dr Hamadoun Tour, Secretary-General of ITU, expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the Conference. “WRC-07 represents a major landmark for the future growth of the ICT industry, and everyone will benefit from the digital dividend that will emerge as a result of this Conference,” he said.
“There is a convergence of the needs of developing countries and developed countries to reduce the digital divide and this is the main success of this WRC-07 conference,” said Mr Franois Rancy, Chairman of WRC-07. “The Regional Groups fully collaborated to produce the spectrum identification for IMT — the concept that embraces advanced broadband mobile technology for use on a global basis.”
WRC-07 addressed some 30 agenda items related to almost all terrestrial and space radio services and applications. These included future generations of mobile telephony, aeronautical telemetry and telecommand systems, satellite services including meteorological applications, maritime distress and safety signals, digital broadcasting, and the use of radio in the prediction and detection of natural disasters.
Key WRC-07 highlights:
International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT)
Globally harmonized spectrum identified for use by International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) represents an important step in the worldwide development of IMT systems:
450−470 MHz band
698−862 MHz band in Region 2 and nine countries of Region 3
790−862 MHz band in Regions 1 and 3
2.3−2.4 GHz band
3.4−3.6 GHz band (no global allocation, but accepted by many countries)
WRC-07 successfully reviewed international regulations related to the maritime mobile service, bringing them in line with current maritime communications technology, including distress and safety transmissions within the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
Aimed at aeronautical security and modernization of civil aviation telecommunication systems:
Upgrade radiolocation service to primary allocation status in the bands 9000−9200 MHz and 9300−9500 MHz
allocate additional spectrum for aeronautical telecommand and high bit-rate aeronautical telemetry
add new allocations for the aeronautical mobile (R) service
Earth-exploration satellite service (EESS)
WRC-07 extended existing primary frequency allocations for EESS, facilitating research and exploration of Earth resources and environmental elements. This was linked to furthering the development of science services. EESS are global assets that provide key services to monitor the planet as well as to predict and monitor natural disasters, meteorology and climate change.
WRC-07 also approved proposals concerning the use and further development of satellite systems using highly inclined orbits, high altitude platforms, as well as the compatibility and sharing between different space and terrestrial services.
Worldwide Plan for fixed-satellite service (FSS)
WRC-07 revised the technical and regulatory provisions for fixed-satellite service in the 800 MHz bandwidth used in different regions under varying climatic conditions for applications such as communications, TV, internet, etc. The revised Plan, based on the latest technological achievements, improves effectiveness of the Plan and facilitates access to the spectrum for FSS systems.
Emergency and disaster relief
WRC-07 advocated the development of spectrum management guidelines for radiocommunication in emergency and disaster relief as well as the identification and maintenance of available frequencies for use in the very early stages of humanitarian assistance intervention in the aftermath of disaster. ITU will develop a database for frequency management in disaster situations.
WRC-07 calls for enhancement of radio services
Enhancement of the international spectrum regulatory framework
Spectrum harmonization for use by terrestrial electronic news gathering (ENG)
Short Range Radio Devices, including devices using ultra-wideband (UWB) technologies, radio-frequency identification devices (RFID), and other similar applications that generate and use radio frequencies locally.