The Radio spectrum is a natural resource. It is an important resource, not only for the broadcasting and communications sectors but also for numerous other sectors such as 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. Interference free use is possible due to international agreements on the use of the radio spectrum which national administrations implement in their day-to-day management of the spectrum. These international agreements are developed under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU ) and are called the International Radio Regulations.
The ITU organises conferences called World Radio Conferences (WRC) at regular intervals to keep these regulations up to date given the rapid changes in technological developments. The last conference was in 2015 and the next is due in 2019 with the WRC after that scheduled for 2023. Each member Administration of the ITU is entitled to participate at the conference and Ireland has done so at previous conferences.
Preparation for the conference is undertaken at both the national and European level. At the national level the Department, having responsibility for communications, establishes a National Preparatory Group (NPG).
At the European level a conference preparatory group of the CEPT has been established. 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, develop common proposals and briefs on each of the conference agenda items. The documents and reports of this group are available to the public on the European Communications Office (ECO) website.
An overview of the typical preparatory work and events at a WRC can been seen in this presentation (PDF 260KB) and report (WRC03ReportFinal.pdf) from the WRC 2003.
See also the ITU web site for WRC 2007, 2012 and 2015 , and the ITU Press Release WRC15, ITU 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.