30/06/20202 Minutes

WRC-23: Spectrum Dialogues in a Post-pandemic World

Confidence and caution were two key features of the discussion during the latest of the GVF Webinar Series produced in association with Satellite Evolution Group.

In assessing the nature and magnitude of any significant impact from COVID-19-related travel restrictions on the preparatory dialogues for the 2023 ITU World Radiocommunication Conference, satellite industry representatives from three of the world’s major satellite operators – InmarsatIntelsat and Eutelsat – expressed general agreement that the processes and procedures to support the rounds of national and regional decision-making were now being fully supported through cycles of “virtual” meetings.

The ITU concurred with this view and noted that had the pandemic arose just a few months earlier the decision-making at WRC-19 in Egypt would very likely not have taken place until other arrangements had been established. In an insightful array of discussion points panellists also referenced the degree of caution which needs to be exercised in order to ensure that the role the satellite industry is playing to mitigate the economic and societal effects of the pandemic is clearly recognised and enshrined in future decisions on spectrum allocation, be it in the protection of satellite bands from other services, the enhanced use of existing satellite spectrum, or the development of new satellite bands.

Given that spectrum centrally underpins the functioning and scope of the industry’s operations, understanding the effects of this pandemic, as an example of an external factor impacting its regulation, is vital.

If you missed the live event on 4 June 2020 you can watch it now to find out whether the change in our telecommunications technologies will also force a change in the way we choose to regulate their use, and the priorities we attach to various networks and services.