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ICT Minister and ITU Secretary General Sign Agreement to Host WRC-19 in Sharm El-Sheikh in October 2019
3/25/2019
The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat and the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Houlin Zhao have signed an agreement to host the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) and the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-19) under the auspices of the President of the Republic, from October 21 to November 26, in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Around 3500 experts and government officials, representing 160 countries worldwide, and over 80 ICT international companies and organizations are to participate.

The ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) WRC is one of the most important international forums organized by the ITU, where most heads of regulatory bodies worldwide and key players in spectrum management participate. It serves as the compass of telecommunications development, in particular wireless communications, mobile phone industry, digital broadcasting systems and satellite industry.

During the conference, a spectrum is to be allocated for 5G mobile technology, sparking the spread of 5G services around the world, along with the development of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, cloud computing, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 5G shall spur the spread and development of these technologies to work together leading all countries of the world towards digital transformation.

In addition, Member States shall endorse the international agreement on wireless communications around the world, which is the radio regulations that set the regulation rules of any modern wireless communication technology around the world.

Talaat stated that hosting this major international event in Egypt - held for the first time in 20 years outside ITU headquarters in Geneva - proves how confident the international organizations are in Egypt's capability of organizing important international events. This is a pivotal turning point in the policies and systems that the world seeks to develop their mechanisms to cope with the changes in different sectors worldwide.

The ICT minister added that hosting the conference in Egypt will reinforce the Egyptian ICT sector at both the regional and international levels, especially as spectrum issues have important political and economic dimensions. Moreover, the host country will chair the conference activities, which further emphasizes Egypt's leading role, especially that the conference delves into important issues related to digital broadcasting systems, wireless communication system, satellite industry, scientific definition of 5G technology and bandwidth, and ends with adopting an international agreement named Sharm El Sheikh 2019.

Furthermore, Talaat said that the conference will be held under the auspices of the President of the Republic, with more than 3000 participants from around the world. He highlighted Egypt’s keenness to have a conference that reflects Egypt’s prestige and meets the ITU member states’ expectations, as all necessary measures, and organizational, service and security preparations are being taken.

On his part, Zhao hailed the Egyptian government’s efforts in preparing to host WRC in Sharm El Sheikh, and highlighted that holding the conference in Egypt comes out of the ITU confidence in Egypt’s capability to offer the needed support for the conference’s success. He emphasized the importance of the issues discussed during the conference, not only to the international communication community, but also to the entire world. This includes 5G technology spectrum, which is of great importance in the development of modern technologies on which services depend.

ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau Director Mario Maniewicz stated that WRC will adopt the international agreement for regulating the radio frequency spectrum, which will manage the communication between institutions, people and smart devices, thus furthering the development of digital services in various fields of industry, economy and service activities.

The agreement signing was witnessed by the Acting Executive President of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Mustafa Abdel-Wahed and a number of officials from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT).

Furthermore, Egypt’s hosting of this event completes NTRA role in following up to the study groups meetings and their teamworks, which had the greatest impact in supporting the Egyptian administration to form its views on WRC 2015 agenda items. In addition, the Egyptian administration, represented by NTRA’s Frequency Spectrum Sector, holds many administrative positions in ITU Radiocommunication Sector.

The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) is held every three to four years, for maximum four weeks, preceded by the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA) for one week, and followed by the first Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) of the next WRC, for three to five days, to arrange for its preparatory studies.​​