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World Radiocommunications Conference

The Radio spectrum is a natural resource. It is an important resource for the broadcasting and communications sectors. It is also important for other sectors including the transport, security, scientific and leisure sectors. Radio waves do not stop at national boundaries, yet we expect to use the radio spectrum without suffering interference.

National administrations implement the Radio Regulations in the day-to-day management of the spectrum. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU ) Radio Regulations are the result of an international agreement. Thus interference free use of spectrum is possible.

The ITU hold World Radio Conferences (WRC) at regular intervals to keep these regulations up to date. This is because of the rapid changes in technological developments. The last conference was in 2015 and the next is due in 2019.  The following WRC after 2019 will likely take place in 2023. Each member Administration of the ITU can participate at the conference. Ireland has attended previous conferences.

Preparation for the conference happens at both the national and European level. At the national level the Department, which is responsible for communications, establishes a National Preparatory Group (NPG).
At the European level the CEPT has established a conference preparatory group (CPG). This involves all European Administrations covering Western, Central and Eastern Europe. The main function of this group is to harmonise the various positions within Europe. The CPG develops common proposals and briefs on each of the conference agenda items. The documents and reports of this group are on the conference preparatory group website.

You may read about the typical preparatory work and events at a WRC in this presentation and Report  from the WRC 2003
 
See the ITU web site for WRC 2007, 2012 and 2015. Also check out ITU Press Release WRC15ITU Press Release WRC12, ITU Press Release WRC07, ITU Press Release WRC03.

The World Radiocommunications Conference 2015 (WRC-15) took place from 2nd to 27th November 2015 in Geneva. The report on the WRC 2015 includes details on the topics on the agenda which included spectrum for mobile telephony, maritime, aviation, automotive collision avoidance radar & satellite and space issues.