Egypt is set to host the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC ’19) in Sharm El-Sheikh from October 28 to 22 November, 2019, preceded by the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA ’19), which will be held in the same venue from October 21-25, 2019.
Held every three to four years since 1992, the WRC is one of the most important international forums organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to review, and, if necessary, revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and the geostationary-satellite and non-geostationary-satellite orbits.
Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, H.E Dr. Amr S. Talaat, and Mr Houlin Zhao (ITU Secretary General) signed the Host Country Agreement for WRC ’19 and RA ’19 on 25 March 2019 in Cairo.
Under the mandate of the ITU Constitution, participants at the WRC can:
- revise the Radio Regulations and any associated Frequency assignment and allotment Plans;
- address any radiocommunication matter of worldwide character;
- instruct the Radio Regulations Board and the Radiocommunication Bureau, and review their activities; and
- determine Questions for study by the Radiocommunication Assembly and its Study Groups, in preparation for future Radiocommunication Conferences.
The agenda for the WRC is usually finalised by the ITU Council well in advance of the conferences ,with its scope established from four to six years before the next WRC.
During WRC 2019, heads of regulatory agencies worldwide and industry leaders in the telecommunications sector and spectrum management circle will dialogue on rising trends and developments in wireless communications, the mobile phone industry, digital broadcasting and the satellite industry.
The highlight of the Conference will include the endorsement of the international agreement on wireless communications by ITU member states.
Also, during the conference the ITU will allocate a spectrum for 5G mobile technology, laying the foundation for the spread of 5G services globally and enabling the growth potentials of Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, big data and geospatial analytics.
About 3,500 industry experts, governments officials and academics are expected to attend WRC ’19 and RA ’19, including representatives from the 193 ITU member States, as well as 267 members of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) representing international organisations, equipment manufacturers, telecommunications companies, network operators and industry forums, who attend as observers.
Hosting the conference in Egypt will bolster the Egyptian telecommunications sector at both regional and international levels, “especially as spectrum issues have important political and economic dimensions”, notes Egypt’s Minister of ICT.
As the host country, Egypt will chair the conference activities, which further reiterates the country’s role in fostering international cooperation in rapidly evolving technology sectors such as satellite broadband, wireless communication system, digital broadcasting systems and other emerging technologies.
Visit the WRC ’19 webpage to learn about the event.
Joseph Ibeh is a Mandela Washington Fellow and Senior Editor at Space in Africa. He writes about Africa’s NewSpace companies and emerging national space programs.