The Plenary Meeting of the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) in Geneva has approved an allocation of 5351.5-5366.5 kHz to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis with a power limit of 15 W effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP). The November 18 decision on Agenda Item 1.4 was adopted on two back-to-back readings. Some Region 2 countries, but not the US, will be permitted up to 25 W EIRP. With this action, and despite conditions that are more restrictive than had been hoped at the start of the Conference, the Amateur Service has obtained its first new global HF allocation since 1979. The new bandwill not become available until and unless the FCC adopts the Acts of the Conference and establishes operating rules. Until then, the five discrete channels will remain in place.
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) team in Geneva is now focusing its efforts on tweaking the agenda for WRC-19. It is likely, but not certain, that the agenda will include an effort to harmonize the Amateur Radio allocation at 50 MHz. A proposed agenda item to align the 160 meter allocation in Region 1 with the rest of the world is no longer under active consideration.
The WRC-19 agenda will also likely pose spectrum defense challenges, including the possible consideration of the 144 MHz and 430 MHz Amateur Radio allocations for sharing with the space operations service, and the possible consideration of one or more bands above 10 GHz for 5G smartphone use. The bounds of these potential defensive items, however, are still under discussion.
The IARU team continues to monitor several other WRC-15 items that appear to be headed toward acceptable conclusions. WRC-15 continues through the signing of the Final Acts on November 27.
The first Amateur Radio satellite to employ the D-Star digital voice and data format — D-Star One — was among about 20 secondary payloads lost on November 28 after an otherwise nominal launch of a three-stage Soyuz 2.1 booster from the new... Read more
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