IARU represents Amateur Radio at key ITU meetings

itu logo2In November preparations continued for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19). Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Study Groups and their Working Parties develop global standards, reports, and handbooks on radiocommunication matters and develop the technical bases for decisions taken at WRCs. The IARU was present and active in two meetings in Geneva of direct relevance to the amateur service.

Study Group 5 is responsible for terrestrial services. Within its Working Party 5A, Working Group 5A1 (WG 5A-1), chaired by Dale Hughes, VK1DSH, is responsible for amateur radio issues. Currently its primary task, to be completed by May 2019, is to develop a technical report on WRC-19 Agenda Item 1.1, a possible allocation of the frequency band 50-54 MHz to the amateur service in Region 1. The report responds to Resolution 658 (WRC-15) and is a study of the spectrum needs of the amateur service in the band in Region 1 (Europe, Africa, the Middle East and northern Asia) as well as of sharing between the amateur service and the existing mobile, fixed, radiolocation, and broadcasting services to ensure protection of these services. For the amateur service, the desired result at WRC-19 is an allocation in ITU Region 1 broadly similar to the existing allocations in Regions 2 and 3.

A number of countries in Africa have primary amateur service allocations at 50–54 MHz. Administrations in other Region 1 countries have authorised amateur use in all or parts of the 50–52 MHz frequency band, mostly on a nationally allocated secondary basis with the additional proviso that harmful interference shall not be caused to incumbent services.

In addition to advancing the report to the level of a Preliminary Draft New Report WG 5A-1 completed a liaison statement to Working Party 1A (spectrum engineering techniques) highlighting concerns with respect to Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) systems, outlined in the Preliminary Draft New Report addressing issues affecting 100 – 148.5 kHz. The major concern involves spurious and harmonic emissions, which require additional study, attenuation due to walls and building penetration levels, and in addition the separation distance between WPT devices and amateur radio antennas. Similar fears have also been expressed to the relevant ITU Study groups concerning high power WPT charging of electric vehicles and the substantial interference potential of harmonic and spurious emissions falling within the MF and HF amateur bands.

Working Party 1B met with the objective of moving towards a final version of the report on the impact of Wireless Power Transmission for Electric Vehicles. The meeting was the first on this subject to come to a degree of detailed discussion about protection of radio services from spurious/harmonic emissions from WPT systems.
Detailed discussions on a separate report being prepared on “unwanted emissions” from WPT was deferred to the June 2019 meeting of WP1A (whose role it is to consider that matter) but the main report will contain clear statements of the protection requirements for radio services including the amateur service.
The United Kingdom helpfully took the lead in restructuring elements of the draft Report and contributors were invited to restructure their input documents to reflect the revised structure and the decision not to reference inapplicable standards and limits in other areas.
The IARU input on the impact of harmonic and other spurious emissions from WPT-EV systems was accepted for inclusion in the Report. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC also made detailed inputs on a number of issues associated with WPT and their inputs were also accepted for inclusion in the Report.
Work was undertaken to present a clearer picture of the typical WPT system performance, from which it became clear that more information was needed about system performance at some frequencies. IARU hopes that this will be addressed before the next meeting in June 2019. It was noted that some countries had not fully engaged in the discussion about spurious emissions and other aspects of WPT systems performance.
Work continued throughout the meeting to reshape the Report, resulting in a new Working Document which was approved by WP 1B and is hoped to be finalised and elevated to a Draft New Report (DNR) at the next meeting.
The IARU is a Sector Member of ITU-R. At the meetings of WG 5A-1 and WP 5A the IARU representatives were Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, and Region 1 Spectrum & Regulatory Chairman Dave Court, EI3IO. Region 1 Secretary Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, is CEPT Coordinator for Agenda Item 1.1 and served on the Netherlands delegation. Serving on their national delegations on behalf of their national IARU member-societies were WG 5A-1 Chairman Dale Hughes, VK1DSH (WIA), Jonathan Siverling, WB3ERA (ARRL), Ulrich Mueller, DK4VW, and Bernd Mischlewski, DF2ZC (DARC), and Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP (JARL). At WP 1B the IARU was represented by Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, and the US delegation included WB3ERA.

An ITU Conference Preparatory Meeting for WRC-19 is set for 18-28 February 2019 in Geneva. WRC-19 will take place from 28 October to 22 November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.