Results of the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference — Canadian Delegation Report
Held October 22 to November 16, 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland
The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07), held under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations, took place in Geneva from 21 October to 16 November, 2007. Approximately 2800 delegates participated in the Conference, representing over 161 Member States, Sector Members and 104 observer organizations. The Canadian delegation was led by Bob McCaughern (IC/DGSE) as well as Bruce Gracie (IC/DGTP) and Marc Dupuis (IC/DGSE), Deputy Heads of Delegation, and was composed of approximately 60 persons from both the government of Canada and the private sector.
Depending on the issue, Canadian positions were advanced in the form of Canadian proposals, Inter-American ProposalsFootnote 1, or jointly with the United States or with New Zealand. After four weeks of intense negotiations and more than 400 proposals and other documents considered in response to 28 agenda items, WRC-07 concluded its work on 16 November 2007. A significant number of important, treaty-binding decisions dealing with a range of complex technical and regulatory issues were taken. These were consistent, in large measure, with Canadian positions and objectives agreed between government and industry stakeholders prior to the Conference.
Among the key results of WRC-07, in which Canada had a particular interest, were, in summary form, the following:
- identification of spectrum to support the future development of advanced wireless systems including spectrum around the 700 MHz band, the highest priority for Canada as it will enable improved access to cellular services in rural areas;
- adoption of more stringent power flux density limits from space stations to ensure the protection of terrestrial systems in Canada (e.g. Inukshuk, LookTV, Craig Wireless) in the band 2 500–2 690 MHz for space stations of all satellite services except for some of no consequence to Canada. An attempt to introduce these regulatory measures retroactively was successfully blocked, to the satisfaction of our satellite industry (e.g. Telesat);
- revision of the global fixed-satellite service allotment Plan (Appendix 30B of the Radio Regulation (RR)) to reflect the latest technological achievements, to improve the effectiveness of the Plan and to facilitate access to the spectrum forCanadian fixed-satellite service (FSS) systems;
- changes to the regulations, specifically related to maritime services, to allow Maritime Mobile Service Identities (MMSIs) to be used by Search And Rescue (SAR) Aircraft improving their ability to locate ships in difficulty, to identify two additional channels for distress calling, to accommodate an automatic identification system for ships in distress situations and to improve the manner in which ships as well as aircraft in areas of armed conflict can identify themselves as not being involved in the conflict situation;
- identification / allocation of additional spectrum for aeronautical purposes including flight testing by Canadian manufacturers such as Bombardier and Bell Helicopter;
- agreement to put on the agenda of the next Conference (scheduled for 2011) an item to deal with options to improve the international spectrum regulatory framework and address the need for flexibility in the Radio Regulations (RR) in light of the convergence of technologies;
- adoption of a Resolution (based on a proposal advanced by Canada and New Zealand) to instruct the ITURadiocommunication Bureau to establish and maintain a database of frequencies used in support of emergency and disaster relief operations to facilitate interoperability of humanitarian assistance radio equipment, particularly in the initial response phase of an emergency or natural disaster.
There were a number of other important agenda items for Canada related to the Earth exploration-satellite (passive) service (EESS), the space research (passive) service (SRS), radio astronomy and the meteorological satellite service (Metsat) of interest, for example, to the Canadian Space Agency, Environment Canada and National Research Council (NRC). The results of the Conference deliberations were very satisfactory for Canada, which will facilitate the introduction of new technologies and will ensure the protection of passive services while not overly encumbering the operation of active services. As far as Metsat issues are concerned, the WRC-07 decisions would allow an enhancement of the capabilities for weather forecasting. A Conference decision also led to the improved status of digital satellite broadcasting, which enhances the prospects of the delivery of broadband services to remote and rural areas.
As far as the agenda of the next Conference in 2011 is concerned, Canada was successful in ensuring the inclusion of 4 proposed agenda items of interest to both the public and private sector, dealing with the enhancement of the international regulatory framework, the review of spectrum usage in the band 275–3 000 GHz, the consideration of changes necessary for the operation of safety systems for ships and ports, and the consideration of possible changes to the coordination and notification procedures for satellite networks.
Canada's success in these and other issues on the agenda underlined the importance of establishing a preparatory process sufficiently in advance of such conferences to ensure that all Canadian public and private sector stakeholders have an opportunity to reflect their respective interests and requirements in the development of positions and proposals. In fact, due to their level of preparation, Canadian delegates were very active in the key working groups and drafting groups, as well as informal discussion groups, and were widely recognized for their contribution to the positive results achieved by the Conference. In order to ensure continuity and the maintenance of a pool of expertise, and to ensure that similar success can be achieved in the future, it will also be important to Canadian interests in the longer term to involve younger employees in the ITU processes.
Table of Contents
- Agenda item 1.1
- Agenda Item 1.2
- Agenda Item 1.3
- Agenda Item 1.4
- Agenda Item 1.5
- Agenda Item 1.6
- Agenda item 1.7
- Agenda item 1.8
- Agenda Item 1.9
- Agenda Item 1.10
- Agenda Item 1.11
- Agenda Item 1.12
- Agenda Item 1.13
- Agenda Item 1.14
- Agenda Item 1.15
- Agenda Item 1.16
- Agenda item 1.17
- Agenda item 1.18
- Agenda item 1.19
- Agenda item 1.20
- Agenda item 1.21
- Agenda item 2
- Agenda item 4
- Agenda item 5
- Agenda Item 7.1
- Agenda Item 7.2
- Annex 1
- Annex 2
- Annex 3
- Footnote 1
Inter-American Proposals (IAPs) were developed within the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), and provided an effective vehicle for promoting multi-country objectives among selected countries of North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean (except Cuba).
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