WRC-19 has approved an allocation in the 50 MHz band for amateurs in Region 1 at its morning plenary in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Thursday 21 November 2019.
The decision comes after more than three weeks of strenuous negotiations to reconcile widely disparate views of Region 1 administrations. The result is a dramatic improvement in the international Radio Regulations for amateurs in Region 1. Prior to WRC-19 there had been no ITU frequency allocation for Region-1 apart from those named in ITU footnote 5.169 for Africa and some national usage. The new situation is summarised below:-
- The amateur service now has a ‘baseline’ secondary allocation of 50-52 MHz in the main ITU allocation table for Region 1.
- A total of 44 named Region 1 countries will now have a primary allocation in all or part of the 50-54 MHz band, including…
- 14 CEPT countries – which will have a 500 kHz primary allocation in the 50.0-50.5 MHz band, as part of their overall 50-52 MHz allocation, a major improvement for amateurs in Europe.
- 26 African and Middle East Countries who will have the full 50-54 MHz range on a Primary basis
- Primary allocations thus see a significant expansion in Africa and the Middle East (see map below)
- The Russian Federation has opted for a smaller but very welcome 200 kHz secondary allocation in the 50.08-50.28 MHz band.
- African countries with previous primary allocations under footnote RR5.169 retain their current status in the 50-54 MHz frequency band.
Full News Release
Notes: The Final Acts of WRC-19 should enter into force on 1 January 2021, however administrations may make provisions to provide 50 MHz spectrum at an earlier or later date.
As an example of the improvements, a quickly prepared map by RSGB below shows the expansion of Primary allocations in Africa and the Middle East as well as areas requiring protection:-
Map Shading key:
- Cyan: 50-54 MHz Primary prior to WRC-19 via footnote RR5.169
- Green: New Primary Countries (mainly 50-54 MHz)
- Red: Countries where protection from amateur cross border emissions is required
- Grey: 50-52 MHz secondary as per new Region-1 default
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