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International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radiocommunication (R) Study Groups continued their preparations in the past three weeks in Geneva for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19). ITU-R Study Groups develop the technical bases for decisions taken at WRCs and develop global standards, reports, and handbooks on radiocommunication matters. IARU was present and active in two meetings of direct relevance to the amateur service.
Working Group 5A1 (WG 5A-1), chaired by Dale Hughes, VK1DSH, is responsible for amateur radio issues. Its primary task is to develop a technical report to be completed in May 2019 to support preparatory work for WRC-19 Agenda Item 1.1. The report addresses the possible allocation of the band 50–54 MHz to the amateur service in ITU Region 1 (Africa, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Europe and Middle East). This may result in a broadly similar 6 metre band allocation in ITU Region 1 to that in IARU Regions 2 and 3. This work started at the WRC in 2015 after the 50 MHz agenda item was approved. WRC-15 also approved Resolution 658, which requires the study of spectrum needs in Region 1 for the amateur service in the 50–54 MHz frequency band, as well as the study of sharing between the amateur service and the mobile, fixed, radiolocation, and broadcasting services to ensure that harmful interference is not caused to stations of these four services.
While a number of Region 1 countries in Africa have primary amateur service allocations at 50–54 MHz, 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.
WG 5A-1 also 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.
Following on from WG 5A1, Working Party WP1B 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 UK 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 EBU and 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 (June 2019) meeting. 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 Draft which was approved by the WP1B and is hoped to be finalised and elevated to a DNR at the meeting in June 2019.
At the ITU meetings, in addition to WG 5A-1 Chairman Dale Hughes, IARU Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; IARU representative Dave Court, EI3IO; CEPT Coordinator Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, ARRL Representative Jonathan Siverling, WB3ERA, DARC representatives Ulrich Mueller, DK4VW, and Bernd Mischlewski, DF2ZC, and JARL representative Ken Yamamoto JA1CJP were working on the preparation of the detailed report on spectrum needs and spectrum sharing at 50 MHz.
In WP1B, IARU was represented by IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ
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.