WRC Allocated New Spectrum Bands For Mobile Services

Zimbabwean telecommunication experts via the  regulatory authority, POTRAZ met  yesterday to discuss feedback meeting of the 2015 World Radio communication Conference (WRC-15) concluded on the 27th of November 2015, which saw significant development in the sector and new spectrum allocation.

The move was paving the way for the future of radio communications.The decisions made at WRC-15 enable the smooth development of all radiocommunications services including mobile broadband, satellite delivery,television broadcasting, scientific services and emergency services.

By Delight Mawere

The newly harmonised bands for mobile include C-band (3.4GHz-3.6GHz), which is suited for delivering capacity in urban areas; L-band (1427MHz-1518MHz), which offers an ideal blend of coverage and capacity capabilities; and an extension of the 700MHz band (694MHz-790MHz) from Americas and APAC
to global availability.
With regards to the 700MHz range,The permanent secretary in the ministry of ICT Postal and courier services Engineer Sam Kundishora who was the gues of honour at the event said that

this is the band that shall help us leapfrog broadband development in our rural areas as it provides fantastic coverage and in-building penetration for urban areas. By making this spectrum available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, governments took an important step in improving the reach of critical mobile broadband services.

Zimbabwe also welcomed the fact that UHF spectrum (470MHz-690MHz) will remain exclusively allocated to terrestrial television broadcasting services in the ITU’s Region 1 (including Europe, Africa, Russia, and parts of the Middle East) well into the next decade.

The stability provided by the WRC decision for the UHF band will enable many countries in ITU Region 1 to continue with their digital switch-over programmes without the risk of an impending change in use of the spectrum”.

The outcome of the conference will permit the deployment of new technologies,helping to deliver cheaper and wider services such as broadband Internet, while protecting existing and future investments for services and technology that have already been implemented and provide services universally.

wrc 15 meeting 2
WRC-15 was a very successful conference, covering a wide range of important issues that everyone will benefit from. It was the culmination of four years of preparation, which included many meetings and extensive studies.

Over 3300 delegates from more than 160 countries met in Geneva throughout the month of November to find solutions to a number of complex and contentious issues, and to agree on a single set of new regulations for these topics.The Zimbabwean Delegation to the Conference was 8-strong and it was led by Dr. Kundishora.

wrc 15 meeting 3

Here are some of the takeaways from the conference

Mobile Broadband
WRC-15 allocated new spectrum bands for mobile services, and identified for International Mobile telecommunications (IMTs). The global harmonisation of the three new spectrum bands for mobile services represents a major step forward in meeting the growing demand from citizens worldwide for mobile broadband.
Global Flight Tracking
Spectrum was allocated for global flight tracking, which will enable authorities to follow the status of planes around the world – a decision made in light of the MH370 disaster.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles WRC-15 also enabled the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to
proceed with the development of standards on unmanned aircraft through the allocation of new spectrum. The situation will be reviewed at the 2023 World
Radiocommunication Conference to ensure that a stable framework for the development of unmanned aircrafts is established.
Satellite Services
A number of new allocations for satellite services were agreed, including satellite communications and Earth exploration satellites which will enable a more accurate exploration of the Earth, both its resources and the evolution of the climate –a very important issue as we enter COP21 final negotiations.Satellite regulations are of vital importance to ensure that all countries have equitable access, and resources are used properly and efficiently.
Agenda for the next WRC
The preliminary agenda for the 2023 World Radiocommunication Conference,and the agenda for the 2019 Conference were also decided at WRC-15. WRC-19 will address a number of issues, in particular broadband and mobile allocations in higher frequency bands – above 24 GHz.

These have a shorter range than the frequency bands now in use, but come in very large bandwidths.
Therefore, much more spectrum will be available for mobile broadband following the expected WRC-19 decisions. One of the main challenges for the future of spectrum management is the convergence between fixed to mobile applications – this will also be addressed at WRC-19.


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