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Europe and Asia Propose Extending ITU Radio Regulations to 1000 GHz at WRC-19

US Silent

FCC stalled at 95 GHz

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Our friends at the UK's PolicyTracker, a spectrum-focused newsletter with world wide coverage, have given us kind permission to reprint the article below by Toby Youell that first appeared on their website on October 2.

Radio Regulations may be extended up to 1000 GHz at WRC-19

Two proposals for new agenda items at WRC-19 could lead to the Radio Regulations extending the upper limit for transmissions from 275 GHz to as much as 1000 GHz.

These frequencies are currently only governed by a footnote (5.565) that allows for the protection of receive-only applications such as the radio astronomy, Earth exploration satellite and space research services.

But according to a new proposal from the Asia Pacific Telecommunity, the ITU-R should “study potential candidate frequency bands for use of the land mobile and fixed services” between 275 GHz and 1000 GHz. Similarly, Europe's common proposal for agenda items at WRC-19 invites the ITU-R to “identify candidate frequency bands for use by systems in the land mobile and fixed services” in bands up to 450 GHz.

Gerlof Osinga, vice chairman of the European (CEPT) conference preparatory group, told a recent ITU inter-regional workshop on WRC-15 preparation that the 450 GHz limit was intended to limit the amount of work that would need to be done in the next study cycle.

According to both draft resolutions, using frequencies higher than 275 GHz may become viable as technology develops. Ultra-high-speed data communication systems demonstrated by some research and development organisations can already transmit at a speed of 100 Gbps above 275 GHz, CEPT says. IEEE task group 802.15.3d is developing standards for wireless personal area networks (WPANs) at these frequencies. One use case could be wireless links in data centres.

Initial studies of technical and operational characteristics of services operating in the 275–1000 GHz range have been undertaken by ITU-R Working Party 1A, while ITU-R Study Group 3 has studied the propagation characteristics of these bands. But according to documents submitted for WRC-15, sharing and compatibility between passive services and potential active applications in the bands has not yet been studied at ITU level.•

In view of the pending "Spectrum Frontiers" NPRM at FCC, why can't FCC think beyond the present 95 GHz upper limits of FCC radio service rules - a limit that was reached in 2003.

Discussions with FCC/IB staff have confirmed there is nothing comparable to this in US proposals. Does this indicate a structural flaw in US WRC preparation process? We think so as this is not the first time that US WRC proposals have focused in cliques well represented in WRC preparation and ignored other public interest issues. More later.


The CEPT and APT proposals for new spectrum beyond the present 275 GHz ITU limits can be downloaded here.

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