Key outcomes noted by the Department included:
- An allocation of 91 MHz in the frequency range 1427–1518 MHz for globally harmonised International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT).
- Additional IMT identification of the 694/698-790 MHz (700 MHZ) frequency band in ITU Region-1 (Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia).
- WRC-15 agreeing on a compromise that the 470–694 MHz band be protected for broadcasters in ITU Region 1 (Africa, Middle East and Europe), while allowing several countries from other regions to use at least part of the 470–698 MHz band for IMT.
- A position of “No Change” (i.e. no allocation to IMT) was adopted in the band 3600-4200 MHz. In addition, the Conference resolved not to consider a proposal for IMT systems in the C-band uplink frequencies (5925-6425 MHz).
- A single globally-harmonised frequency range—694–894 MHz—for Public Protection and Disaster Relief (public safety communications).
- A global allocation for short-range high-resolution automotive radar in the 79 GHz frequency band.
- An extension of the allocation to the earth exploration satellite service in the 9 GHz band that will permit higher resolution satellite images.
- Agreement to a new agenda item for WRC–19 to explore options for additional IMT identifications above 24 GHz in support of new 5G technologies.
- WRC–15 outcomes directly impacting South Africa will be integrated by ICASA into national regulatory arrangements in preparation for the bringing into force of the latest version of the ITU Radio Regulations on 01 January 2017.
· The Department will launch the National Preparatory Working Group (NPWG) to commence with the preparatory process for WRC-19.
· The 2019 WRC agenda will be the focus of attention in the coming months as the Department, the Regulator and industry consider the national implications and associated studies required to get preparatory work underway.
___[24 July 2015] The World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2 to 27 November 2015. World radiocommunication conferences (WRC) are held every three to four years. It is the job of WRC 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.
The South African National Preparatory Working Group (NPWG), convened by the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, is charged with preparing SA’s position in respect of the various agenda items to be debated at WRC 2015. Powerpoint presentations detailing the current status of the positions taken are available from http://www.dtps.gov.za/documents-publications/sa-2nd-npwg-wrc.html.
Of the issues to be discussed, probably the most relevant is Agenda Item 1.1 :
to consider additional spectrum allocations to the mobile service on a primary basis and identification of additional frequency bands for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and related regulatory provisions, to facilitate the development of terrestrial mobile broadband applications, in accordance with Resolution 233 (WRC-12)
The NPWG working document provides the following table relating to spectrum availability in South Africa:
|Spectrum identified for IMT||Spectrum assigned||Maximum available for assignment||To be assigned|
|Below 1 GHz||286 MHz||76 MHz||186 MHz||110 MHz|
|Above 1 GHz||895 MHz||553 MHz||765 MHz||212 MHz|
|Total||1181 MHz||629 MHz||951 MHz||322 MHz|