Press Release

Press Release

SAMENA Council represents its Terrestrial & Satellite operator community in the WRC-23 to witness revision of Radio Regulations in view of global IMT and space sustainability requirements

SAMENA Council, represented by CEO & board member, Bocar BA, is participating in the WRC-23, hosted by TDRA-UAE in Dubai. WRC-23 has brought together governments for negotiations on the allocation of radio-frequency spectrum.

In a message delivered during the WRC-23 on behalf of the United Nations Secretary-General H.E. António Guterres, it was acknowledged that “Radio frequencies, whether on Earth or in space, form the backbone of advanced communications for all of humanity. From education to healthcare, from agriculture to climate monitoring, expanding radiocommunication services and bridging the digital divide are key to reducing inequalities and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals."

ITU's Secretary-General H.E. Doreen Bogdan-Martin emphasized that “We are at an inflection point in tech history, and radiocommunications are at the top of the global agenda... Equitably managed spectrum and the associated satellite orbits are among the best tools in our toolbox to make good on our commitment to build a digital future that works for everyone and for our planet."

Director-General of TDRA-UAE, H.E. Eng. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, anticipating the Conferences’ successful dialogue and consensus on critical matters that concern the digital future, stated: "While today's world is full of challenges, this conference comes to set the course and direct the compass toward sustainable human development by updating the Radio Regulations and establishing international consensus on the frequencies necessary for the coming era. With the broad horizons, it brings in the fields of smart cities, digital economy, knowledge society, space and others, we are confident that this conference will achieve the results that meet the expectations and aspirations of our peoples."

Bocar BA, representing SAMENA Council and its community of Telecom Operators and Tech Providers, stated that: "SAMENA Council extends congratulations to the TDRA-UAE on hosting and organizing the WRC-23 in Dubai. The Industry has confidence in this collaboration between the TDRA and ITU to help steer consensus-building on radiocommunication matters that are very important for governments and Telecom Operators alike. As negotiations on the allocation of spectrum carry on, building an inclusive, sustainable digital future requires the right resources and timely enablement for all stakeholders. Through the efforts of the ITU and TDRA, and with the support of the Member States, particularly the regulatory authorities, we can hope for great outcomes from the WRC-23."

Bocar BA, who also participated earlier in a session focused on the future of space economy, led by the Communication & Space Technology Commission (CST) of Saudi Arabia, further stated that "We are grateful to policymakers and space industry leaders for highlighting the importance of space sustainability, and for emphasizing on the requirements for shaping a sustainable and prosperous digital future in this age when both digital and space economies are integral to global sustainability."

The WRC is organized every four years by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). WRC-23’s ongoing proceedings, scheduled from November 20 to December 15, are focused on updating the Radio Regulations (the international treaty governing the use of spectrum and geostationary and non-geostationary satellite orbits). The Radio Regulations ensure that the use of the radio-frequency spectrum is rational, equitable, efficient, economical, and signal-interference free. Therefore, the ongoing review and revision of the Regulations at the WRC-23, is critical for supporting the introduction of new radio-based technologies, systems, technologies and services and their growing spectrum requirements, while continuing to protect the vital radio services that are central to the digital infrastructure. The ITU Membership, in both national and global interest to pursue innovative technologies, mitigate environmental impact, connect the unconnected communities everywhere, and to help focus on land, sea, air, and space with a new spirit and new objectives, has embarked on this undertaking to help bring digital-led prosperity for billions of people across the world.

The WRC-23 agenda items include:

  • Identifying additional frequency bands for the continued development of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), including the use of high-altitude platform stations as IMT base stations for the universal deployment of wireless networks.
  • Improvements to the international regulatory framework for geostationary orbit (GSO) and non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellites while promoting equitable access for all countries.
  • Use of satellite technologies for broadband services to improve connectivity, particularly in remote areas.
  • New spectrum to enhance radiocommunications in the aeronautical mobile service, including by satellite, and to facilitate the use of the space research and Earth exploration-satellite services for climate monitoring, weather prediction and other scientific missions.
  • The modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
  • The regulatory framework for the use of earth stations in motion on board aircraft and ships for communication with GSO and NGSO satellites.
  • The future of the ultra-high frequency (UHF) broadcasting band which has implications for television broadcast, program-making and special events, as well as public protection and disaster relief.

The proceedings of the WRC-23, including those in the Radiocommunication Assembly, among other outcomes, have so far helped achieve:

  • agreement on “IMT-2030" as the technical reference for the 6th generation of International Mobile Telecommunications;
  • revision of ITU-R Resolution 65, paving the way for studies on the compatibility of current regulations with potential 6th generation IMT radio interface technologies for 2030 and beyond;
  • adoption of the new Recommendation ITU-R M. 2160 on the “IMT-2030 Framework," setting the basis for the development of IMT-2030. The next phase will be the definition of relevant requirements and evaluation criteria for potential radio interface technologies (RIT);
  • adoption of a new resolution on the use of IMT technologies for fixed wireless broadband;
  • in accordance with Resolution 219 (Bucharest, 2022), adoption of a new resolution on space sustainability to facilitate the long-term sustainable use of radio-frequency spectrum and associated satellite orbit resources used by space services. This will be supportive of further cooperation with other United Nations organizations and beneficial to the satellite industry;
  • adoption of a resolution on gender equality to strengthen, accelerate and widen the active involvement of women in the work of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R).

WRC-23 was preceded by the ITU Radiocommunication Assembly which met in Dubai from 13-17 November to establish the structure, working methods and program of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector. Thousands of industry participants are taking part in WRC-23, including delegates from ITU Member States and ITU Radiocommunication Sector Members representing international organizations, such as SAMENA Telecommunications Council, equipment manufacturers, network operators and industry forums attending as observers.

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