The use of radio spectrum, and its role in today’s technology focused society, has never been so important. Most of us make direct use of spectrum in our everyday lives when we use mobile/smart phones, laptops, tablets and when we watch television (which may receive signals from transmitters on the ground or from satellites that orbit the earth). Outside these more familiar examples, radio spectrum is also used for many other purposes including for aviation, maritime and by the scientific community for the detection of emissions from space (radio astronomy) or from the earth itself.
To assist this usage, frequency band harmonisation plays an pivotal role. The most important global spectrum harmonisation activity are World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRCs), of the International Telecommunication Union. These Conferences are held approximately every four years and take key decisions concerning the identification and international harmonisation of spectrum bands.
The next WRC will take place in November 2019 and Ofcom represents the UK at WRCs. This document sets out the key issues that will be considered at the conference and explains why they matter to the UK.