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ITU ‘save satellite spectrum for emergency services’

Major inter-governmental and private-sector organisations responsible for providing safety-of-life communications to millions of people have requested the national administrations of every region to preserve satellite spectrum for use in delivering mission-critical satellite services worldwide.

The unprecedented demonstration of support for satellite spectrum was made during a series of briefings held at the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU’s) World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), where the wireless industry is attempting to get access to satellite spectrum despite reports that previous efforts have already disrupted communications services with serious interference.

Included among those calling for safeguarding of satellite services were the United Nations World Food Program and Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the World Meteorological Organization, the World Broadcasting Unions, NetHope, the International Maritime Organization, and the Space Frequency Coordination Group, a group of space agencies from throughout the world.

In a joint statement issued by an international coalition of seven non-profit associations representing the global satellite communications sector, the show of support was strongly commended: “The high level of support from these organisations makes clear the importance of satellite communications in C band spectrum and how further disruption of safety-of-life services due to wireless interference is unacceptable.”

As governments consider whether any portion of the 3400-4200 MHz band (“C band”) should be identified for IMT, they have heard from the safety-of-life organisations during a series of briefings held for the inter-governmental groups of each major world region, including the Arab Spectrum Managers Group (ASMG), Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), the Conference Europeenne de Postes et Telecommunications (CEPT), the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), and the RCC & Commonwealth of Independent States.

“Some administrations may be under a misimpression,” the coalition statement continued.  “It is not necessary to support IMT identification if they have already authorized WiMax or other terrestrial wireless services.  An identification for IMT is not required to make WiMax or other authorisations comply retroactively with ITU rules.  No ITU rule change is required at the WRC in order to enable national deployments of WiMax or other wireless services.”

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