The Radiocommunication Bureau within the International Telecommunication Union conducts a wide range of workshops and seminars on issues affecting the spectrum field. A quick look at the Bureau's website listing of these events shows the diversity of its activities. The most recent event was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where the Bureau held a seminar on "Advanced Spectrum Management" on September 12 through 16.

We will take a close look at the presentations and materials from the event, available with the permission of the ITU, in a series of blog entries. This is the first entry, describing Day One of the event.

The description of the seminar notes that:

"If spectrum is to be used efficiently its use must be coordinated and regulated through both national regulations and the ITU Radio Regulations. The ability of each country to take full advantage of the spectrum resource depends heavily on spectrum management activities that facilitate the implementation of radio systems and ensure minimum interference.

The seminar gave "an overview of the ITU activities with respect to international and national spectrum management with a focus on the most recent developments…." It also presented materials on national practice in spectrum management, in particular information from the region (such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Azerbaijan) as well as experience in Western European countries. The program shows an extremely broad set of presentations, covering numerous topics in the spectrum management field. Forty-six separate papers are posted (subject to ITU passwords) on the list of contributions.

Day one – the opening

The seminar was opened by welcoming messages from Kazakhstan officials, including a description of the national market, and quickly moved into topics of international spectrum management.

Bureau Director Francois Rancy initiated this topic with his presentation on "ITU and ITU-R," (PDF 2 mb)  laying out the basic background on the ITU Radiocommunication Sector, the "ITU-R." He also described preparations for the next world radiocommunication conference, "WRC-12," coming up in early 2012. Vadim Nozdrin, Study Group Counselor within the Bureau and veteran of over a decade within the Bureau, then gave a detailed presentation on "International Spectrum Management," (PDF 1.57 mb) describing the ITU Constitution and International Radio Regulations (the RRs), and laying out disadvantages and advantages of the broadly defined services that are used in the RRs.

Several presentations after lunch covered the system of international spectrum management, including preparations for the Radiocommunication Assembly, the activities of the Radio Regulation Board and the Radio Advisory Group, and detail on the different ITU-R study groups. The following chart from that presentation shows at a glance the complex structure of the many ITU-R activities.

Click here to see ITU-R Structure.

The afternoon of Day One focused on regional spectrum management. Presentations were devoted to activities of the Regional Commonwealth in the field of Communications (RCC), Western European activities through the CEPT and ECC, and European standards.

The RCC presentation (PDF 1.3 mb) was made by Albert Nalbandian, Advisor to the Minister of Transport and Communications of Armenia, who among other responsibilities is the chairman of the ITU Conference Preparatory Meeting for WRC-12. The RCC was set up in Moscow in 1991 by communications administrations in the region. Twelve countries currently are members, as reflected on the RCC website, with another five listed as observers. The RCC is a regional entity similar to the CEPT in Europe, CITEL in the Americas, and the ATU in Africa. (We see that the RCC will meet in Kiev in December to mark its twentieth anniversary.) 

Thomas Ewers, chairman of the ECC, first presented the basics on the "CEPT and ECC" (770 kb) activity. He listed the following major topics, each with a page of detail on current developments

  • Cognitive and Software Defined Radio
  • Future use of the band 1452 ––1492 MHz
  • Public protection and Disaster Relief
  • Broadband Direct-Air-to-Ground Communications
  • The Conference Preparatory Group for WRC-12

Rounding out the day, Michael Sharpe of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute described "European radio spectrum regulations and standards," (PDF 1.92 mb) subtitled as "welcome to the world of standards" in 32 slides.

In subsequent posts, we will describe Day Two, dedicated to efficient use of satellite orbit / spectrum; Day Three, focused on national experiences; and the wrap-up Day Four, looking at case studies for spectrum management solutions.