International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) volunteers are continuing their work toward a favorable outcome for World Radio Conference 2019 (WRC-19) Agenda Item 1.1, which seeks a 6-meter allocation for the Amateur Radio Service in Region 1 in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations Table of Frequency Allocations. The effort is aimed at aligning the band with the 50 MHz allocations in ITU Regions 2 and 3. In a news release, IARU Region 1 (IARU R1) President Don Beattie, G3BJ, described extensive work in various forums and the ITU aimed at gaining support for a 6-meter band in Region 1, rather than the current country-by-country allocations.
“IARU has represented the global voice of Amateur Radio in these meetings, arguing that new applications in Amateur Radio require significant bandwidth at 50 MHz and has set out a proposed utilization of the band which supports its claim,” Beattie said. He added that the IARU has also engaged in extensive work on sharing studies using propagation models recognized by the ITU and the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT).
“The Amateur Service has met strong opposition from a few nation states who argue that the 50 MHz band is already allocated to other services in their countries — following the closure of many broadcasting stations in recent years which operated in this band — and believe that sharing the band presents problems,” Beattie said.
CEPT Project Team D has prepared two Agenda 1.1 options. The majority of CEPT administrations actively participating in discussions preferred one proposal for a 2 MHz secondary allocation. The second option, the result of a major compromise and preferred by IARU and the European Radio Amateurs’ Organization (EURAO), would see a 500 kHz primary allocation of 50.0 – 50.5 MHz, paired with a secondary allocation of 50.5 – 52.0 MHz. Beattie said either option would be an improvement over the status quo.
Additional meetings lie ahead, including a CEPT Conference Preparatory Group (CPG) meeting in November, and the ITU Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) in February.
“It is hoped that the cooperation between IARU and EURAO will continue in future CEPT activities, which are relevant to Amateur Radio,” Beattie said.