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Global spectrum under the spotlight in Geneva

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The World Radiocommunication Conference opened yesterday in Geneva to address the worldwide use of radio frequencies and to meet the global demand for spectrum, fuelled by rapid technological developments and growth in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector. 

A finite resource, radio-frequency spectrum is the bedrock of state-of-the-art ICT, which, in turn is the driving force behind the world's economic and social systems. The future points towards a wireless world.
Last held in the summer of 2003, the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) is the international forum for revising the Radio Regulations – the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.
WRC-07 will also deal with any radiocommunication questions with worldwide ramifications. The WRC-07 agenda focuses on some 30 items related to almost all terrestrial and space radio services and applications, including aeronautical telemetry and telecommand systems, satellite services, mobile communications, maritime distress and safety signals, digital broadcasting, satellites for meteorology, and the prediction and detection of natural disasters.
WRC-07 will consider options to improve the international spectrum regulatory framework. It will examine the evolution of existing, emerging and future applications, systems and technologies in order to meet the growing demand for spectrum, orbit access and operations – an inevitable consequence of the accelerating convergence of radiocommunications services as well as the rapidly changing regulatory environment.
WRC-07 will run until 16 November. More than 1500 delegates were present on the opening day. Over 3000 participants from around the world are expected to attend the Conference, which takes place at the Geneva International Conference Centre.
To prepare for a truly wireless future where ubiquitous systems using spectrum will abound, WRC-07 will make decisions on the most rational and efficient ways to exploit the limited resource of radio-frequency spectrum and manage satellite orbits, critical and increasingly valuable for the achievement of the global connectivity goals in the 21st Century.
The issues to be debated and discussed during WRC-07 reflect the pressing needs relating to spectrum and regulation for different wireless services and applications:
* New capabilities of systems, components and related aspects of third generation and broadband wireless systems;
* Access to spectrum for the provision of aeronautical telemetry and telecommand systems compatible with the increasing complexity of aircraft design and shortened timescales for aircraft production;
* Monitoring of maritime identification digits (MID) resource within Maritime Mobile Service Identification (MMSI) number format;
* Urgent requirement for worldwide harmonization of user requirements and spectrum usage of electronic news gathering;
* Procedures for the introduction of high definition TV services; and
* Revision of the regulatory procedures applicable to satellite services, including the Plan for fixed-satellite services that provide spectrum and orbit resources to the Member States of ITU.
Addressing participants at the opening session, the Chairman of WRC-07, François Rancy ,said: "This conference will influence the future of international wireless communications. The objective of WRC-07 is to allow each country to use the spectrum for its own needs, as long as it does not affect the capacity of other countries to share the resource."