South Africa Support IARU Position on WRC-19 Agenda Items Affecting Amateur Radio

The two-day Industry WRC-19 Preparatory meeting held last week recommended that South Africa support the IARU position on agenda items that impact on Amateur Radio.

The meeting considered the draft ITU Conference Preparatory Meeting report (CPM) and developed the South African position which will now be discussed at the SADC meeting and after that at the ATU meeting next month. The final CPM report will be discussed later this year before the CPM meeting which will be held prior to WRC in October. The final South African position will then be submitted to cabinet for approval. This will form the guidelines that the South African delegation will use in the WRC discussions.

Item 1.1 of the Agenda deals with 50 - 54 MHz. The SARL proposal to support the global allocation of 50 - 54 MHz which is draft CPM option A, was supported. For South Africa this means keeping the current allocation. There are all indications that this agenda item will get Africa wide support.

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For agenda 1.13 the IARU proposed that 47.0 to 47.2 GHz be left as a primary amateur allocation. This small portion of the 47 GHz was left untouched although questions were asked what studies the amateur radio community has carried out and what use the spectrum is planned for.

The SARL closely followed discussions on agenda items 1.15, 1.16 and 10. Two agenda items of concern are those dealing with 2,3 and 5 GHz allocations and the encroachment of Wi-Fi systems. Amateur Radio has secondary allocations in those two bands.

The SARL participated in discussions on simplifying registration of satellites with an operational life of 3 years and shorter. South Africa played a major role in this agenda item and supports the initiative. The agenda item to find new allocations for University CubeSats also resulted in substantial discussions.

While this agenda item is not supported by many countries, the meeting felt it is an important proposal and agreed to promote this at SADC and ATU level. Currently many countries allow these satellites to operate on amateur radio frequencies and see no need to find alternative frequency allocations.

The SARL and AMSAT SA was represented by Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV

The South African Radio League -