The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) is a federation of national associations of certified radio amateurs, representing over 150 countries and separate territories around the world.

The three IARU Regions are organised to broadly mirror the structure of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and its related regional telecommunications organisations. The Regions comprise:
- IARU Region 1: Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Northern Asia
- IARU Region 2: The Americas
- IARU Region 3: Asia-Pacific

The IARU represents the interests of the Amateur Radio Service worldwide to relevant international organisations, promoting the interests of amateur radio and seeking to protect and enhance its spectrum privileges.


Special WRC Report Number One


World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12) started 23 January 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. This is the "big show" for spectrum allocation matters and a very important meeting if you are an amateur radio operator anywhere in the world. Every 4 or 5 years a WRC takes place. The last one was in 2007. Approximately 3,000 people will attend WRC-12. These are government officials, telecommunication industry people and others, like the IARU, who have an interest in the use of the radio spectrum. The agenda items discussed during WRC-12 were established at the previous WRC in 2007. In the past 4.5 years there have been many committee meetings within the ITU to try to arrive at solutions that will satisfy each of the agenda items. In the case of some of the agenda items, several possible methods to satisfy the agenda item have been identified. It is up to the WRC to select the most appropriate method to satisfy the agenda item, that is, to arrive at an worldwide solution to the issue presented in the agenda item.

There are a number of agenda items for WRC-12 that have some impact on amateur radio, immediately or sometime in the future. Each of the agenda items is assigned to a committee and also sub-working groups. Within each of these sub-working groups the agenda items are discussed in detail, the proposals from regional telecommunication organizations are analyzed, and the discussion proceeds toward developing a consensus on the agenda item. It seems to the casual observer to be a slow, tedious process but it works quite well in developing consensus, assuming the parties are at least a little bit flexible in their views.

WRC-12 continued

wrc-12sThe real WRC work on AI 1.23 started with the introduction of regional and national positions. APT (Asia Pacific), ATU (Africa), CEPT (Europe), CITEL (the Americas), East Africa Telecom Communities and SADC (South African Development Community) support an amateur allocation around 500 kHz, although not all suppport the same option. The ASMG (Arab states), RCC (Russian Federation c.s.), China and Iran favour no change. This means that a lot of work needs to be done by Sub Working Group 4C3, that is now on a rhythm of two meetings per day.

Cuba has proposed an Agenda Item for the next WRC: an amateur allocation at 5 MHz.

WRC-12 Day 1

wrc-12sThe opening of WRC-12 took place in Geneva on 23 January 2012. More than 3000 delegates from over 150 countries are represented. Mr Tariq Al-Awadhi from the UAE was elected as the conference chairman.

The work started with the election of the various committee chairmen, working group chairmen and sub working group chairmen. Brennan Price, N4QX, ARRL Chief Technical Officer and a member of the US delegation was elected as chairman of Sub Working Group 4C3, which will be dealing with agenda item 1.23 on a secondary amateur allocation around 500 kHz.

Besides the Region 1 radio amateurs mentioned yesterday we also see Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP on the Japanese delegation, Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN on the Canadian delegation and Dale Hughes, VK1DSH on the Australian delegation. The IARU, with an observer status at WRC-12, is represented by IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, Vice-President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, Region 2 President Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM, IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, Ken Pulfer, VE3PU and Dave Sumner, K1ZZ. ARRL Technical Relations Specialist Jon Siverling, WB3ERA is on the US delegation and serves as CITEL spokesman for AI 1.23


wrc-12sThe World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12) is about to start and will take place from 23 January until 17 February 2012. The preparatory work for WRC-12 started almost immediately after WRC-2007. IARU Region 1 has been very active in these preparations within CEPT, ATU, ASMG and ITU.

Our main agenda item 1.23 considers "an allocation of about 15 kHz in parts of the band 415-526.5kHz to the amateur service on a secondary basis, taking into account the need to protect existing services". Several other agenda items will have our special interest. These agenda items include

  • 1.15: "to consider possible allocations in the range 3-50 MHz to the radiolocation service for oceanographic radar applications, taking into account the results of ITU-R studies, in accordance with Resolution 612 (WRC-07)"
  • 1.22: "to examine the effect of emissions from short-range devices on radiocommunication services, in accordance with Resolution 953 (WRC-07)"

The International Amateur Radio Union and its Regions will be represented during the conference to lobby for agenda item 1.23 and to protect our spectrum interests.

  • IARU Region 1 ERC Chairman Colin Thomas G3PSM will be attending WRC-12 as CEPT Co-ordinator for agenda item 1.23 and as agenda item lead on the UK delegation
  • IARU Region 1 HF Chairman Ulrich Mueller DK4VW will be attending on the German Delegation.
  • Past IARU Region 1 Vice President Tafa Diop 6W1KI will be attending part of WRC-12 on the ATU delegation.
  • IARU Region 1 President Hans Blondeel Timmerman PB2T will be attending part of WRC-12 on the IARU delegation.

New allocations in the Netherlands

A recent change of the National Allocation Table in the Netherlands shows that Dutch amateurs will get a secondary allocation from 501-505 kHz until 1 January 2014 and a secondary allocation from 70.0-70.5 MHz. There is one more burocratic hurdle to overcome: The start date is not until an update of the so called "Regeling gebruik van frequentieruimte zonder vergunning 2008".

500 kHz for Malta

The latest version of the Maltese National Frequency Plan contains an entry for 501-504 kHz with the following footnote (MLT03): The allocation of the band 501-504 kHz to the amateur service is valid until 31 December 2011. Stations in the amateur service using this frequency band shall not exceed a maximum effective radiated power of 10 Watts (10dBW) and shall not cause harmful interference to services operating in the same or adjacent frequency bands. Transmissions in this band shall be limited to experimental or research.

14th ASMG meeting


As a result of the successful RCAR 2010 held in April 2010 in Doha Qatar, IARU Region 1 was invited to attend  the 14th   Arab Spectrum Management Group (ASMG) meeting held in Beirut, Lebanon 29 November - 2 December 2010. At this meeting ASMG shapes its position for WRC-12. Hani OD5TE and Hans PB2T are in attendance and use this opportunity to explain why an amateur allocation around 500 kHz is important to us. This is not an easy job, because the views of the Arab countries mainly tend to a "no change". Besides Agenda Item 1.23 the IARU Region 1 presentation will point out what agenda items form a threat to amateur spectrum and how protection of amateur spectrum can be achieved.

New Zealand Amateurs Granted Access to 600 metre Band

Following submissions from NZ Association of Radio Transmitters (NZART), the group that represents NZ amateur radio operators, the NZ Government has agreed to grant NZ Amateurs temporary access to a slice of the 600 metre spectrum. From 1 March 2010, NZ Amateurs will have access to some of the pectrum that was previously used for Morse code communications with ships. The new band, 505 to 515 kHz has been granted on a temporary basis pending an international allocation to radio amateurs and includes some restrictions:

  • These frequencies are, or may be, allocated for use by other services. Amateur operators must accept interference from, and must
    not cause interference to, such other services.
  • Radiated power must not exceed 25 watts e.i.r.p.
  • The bandwidth of emissions must not exceed 200 Hz

On the international scene, work continues to gain a world-wide allocation in this area through the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), the group that represents Radio Amateurs internationally. Once this is approved, it is likely that the New Zealand Amateurs will be granted a permanent allocation in the 600 metre area. The updated Amateur GURL which is effective from 1 March 2010, can be found at: