While emphasizing that much work remains to be done, a top official of the International Telecommunications Union and the head of the U.S. delegation reported progress on mobile broadband and other issues at the second Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) for the 2015 World Telecommunications Conference (WRC-15). 

More than 1,250 representatives from 105 nations attended the CPM, which concluded last Thursday in Geneva.  Delegates at the event compiled a report on recommended agenda items to be presented at WRC-15 in November.  In a news release, Francois Rancy, the director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau, remarked that “considerable progress has been made toward a successful outcome at the forthcoming WRC-15 concerning, in particular, broadband access, satellite systems and monitoring climate change.” 

Describing the CPM report as “a framework document” that “identifies the possible options,” Rancy noted that one anticipated topic of debate during WRC-15 will be the question of terrestrial mobile allocations in portions of the 3.4-4.2 GHz C-band used by satellite operators as well as in the 470-698 MHz band that is used by broadcasters.  Rancy added that another key topic of discussion will be Agenda Item 1.5, which concerns spectrum allocations for unmanned aerial vehicles.  In the words of an ITU news release, other important issues to be addressed at WRC-15 include narrowband systems for maritime and aeronautical mobile communications, the “sustainable” availability of the 5GHz band for non-geostationary mobile satellite service feeder links, and “the future use of a wide range of frequency bands allocated by the [ITU] Radio Regulations.” 

As Rancy hailed the outcome of the CPM as “a major step,” Decker Anstrom, the head of the U.S. delegation, applauded the completion of “balanced and useful CPM report text on a number of agenda items that are important to us.”  Citing “significant progress” on issues that include the identification of new spectrum bands for wireless broadband and “space agenda items that are important for NASA and other space agencies,” Anstrom told reporters: “this will be very valuable as we move forward.”