The radio-frequency spectrum across the Americas requires efficient management to deliver the full benefits of the digital revolution, observed delegates to the region’s foremost annual radiocommunication seminar in early May.
The ITU Regional Radiocommunication Seminar 2021 for the Americas Region (RRS-21 Americas), held virtually from 26 April to 7 May, forms part of a capacity building programme by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) focused on the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.
The seminar emphasizes the application of the Radio Regulations, the international treaty regulating radiocommunication services and the utilisation of radio frequencies worldwide.
ITU convened the annual meeting of experts at the regional level in collaboration with the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) and the Colombian National Spectrum Agency (ANE).
Participants reviewed updates to ITU‘s latest set of Radio Regulations, adopted by the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19), as well as the items on the agenda for the next WRC in 2023. The seminar also examined international spectrum management and the procedures for recording frequency assignments in the Master International Frequency Register (MIFR).
“Efficient and effective spectrum management empowers countries to connect the unconnected, benefit from emerging technologies and make progress toward achieving sustainable development for all,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “ITU members need to be continually updated to implement World Radiocommunication Conference outcomes and address specific regional challenges.”
The programme included basic training on tools developed by ITU for frequency notices and the technical examinations. Through various tutorials, participants gained experience with ITU notification procedures, as well as with the software and electronic publications made available by the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau to Member States and ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Members.
Mario Maniewicz, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau, said: “Every year, the Radiocommunication Sector publishes materials of fundamental importance to the global management of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. These range from international regulations and recommendations to reports, handbooks, manuals, service publications, software, and databases. The Regional Radiocommunication Seminars are key to enabling our members to understand and make full use of these publications, particularly for formulating national and regional policies on the use of the radio spectrum.”
Forum: Modern spectrum management in the Americas
RRS-21 Americas concluded with a discussion on “Modern Spectrum Management in the Region”, allowing industry representatives to share their perspectives with ITU Member States to help advance and accelerate regional radiocommunications development.
Oscar Leon, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Communications Commission (CITEL), said in his welcoming remarks: “This Regional Radiocommunication Seminar gives countries an invaluable opportunity to expand their knowledge of spectrum management within the regulatory framework for international frequency management and associated ITU-R Recommendations, as well as the best practices regarding spectrum use for terrestrial and space services.” He added: “Participants also have the opportunity to discuss and gather information that forms part of CITEL’s input to the World Radiocommunication Conferences.”
Miguel Felipe Anzola, General Director of the National Spectrum Agency of Colombia (ANE), in his opening address highlighted the importance of the work being done by ITU and CITEL, both in coordinating international positions and as facilitators of knowledge exchange and best practices.
“I would also like to emphasize the importance of the ongoing trainings, especially on issues as dynamic as those related to spectrum management where we see new trends, developments, and proposals every day,” he said. “In addition, these types of events also allow the strengthening of links between countries, which is essential to improving the discussions in the region.”
ITU Regional Radiocommunication Seminars aim to assist Member States, and particularly developing countries, in spectrum management activities and the application of the ITU Radio Regulations. The seminars complement larger, biennial World Radiocommunication Seminars. This gives all ITU countries and regions ample opportunity to prepare for WRC-23, which will update the Radio Regulations.
The Americas seminar drew more than 300 participants representing 37 countries, including 28 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, along with 5 international organizations, and representatives of the telecommunications industry, other international organizations, associations, and academia from the region.