Sharm El-Shaikh on 22 November 2019
The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat and the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Houlin Zhao witnessed today the closing ceremony of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19).
The WRC was hosted in Sharm El Sheikh for over a month, and was opened by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in October. This is an international event organized by the ITU, a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN).
At the beginning, Talaat thanked the ITU for choosing Egypt to be the first Arab country to host this major international event, organized for the first time outside the ITU headquarters in Geneva. He also commended the different parties’ efforts in organizing the conference in a way that reflects Egypt’s image and position.
This includes the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA), the WRC-19 Chairman Amr Badawi, for his distinct management of the conference activities, South Sinai governorate and its executive leaders.
He thanked all the involved parties for sparing no effort to provide the necessary preparations to support the conference participants and guests, and create an enabling environment for their participation.
The ICT Minister, during his speech, discussed the conference recommendations that resulted in positive outcomes in favor of the future of mobile communications. This includes a bundle of significant outcomes for the future of 5G technology and ensuring the protection of relevant areas, such as the global weather forecast services. This is in addition to issuing international resolutions to help pave the way for improving transportation in smart cities.
Moreover, Talaat expressed his happiness with the WRC announcement of a special declaration on gender equality in the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), highlighting Egypt’s considerable interest in this issue.
The conference comprised a number of activities including the governments’ presentation and revision of the Radio Regulations (RR), an international treaty regulating the utilization of radio frequencies, the geostationary (GSO) and non-geostationary-satellite (Non-GSO) orbits. In addition, the WRC final outcome was announced as an international agreement named after the host country “Sharm El Sheikh Charter 2019”.
The WRC came out with a number of outcomes and recommendation, the most important of which is making 5G services commercially available, extensively, through providing the necessary bandwidths; as well as expanding broadband network through developing the regulatory framework for operating Earth Stations in Motion (ESIM) in K? band bandwidth.
Furthermore, the regulatory framework for Non-GSO has been determined, with the whole world set to launch a large number of satellites to provide broadband services in high speeds to cover all areas, especially remote areas and those not covered by terrestrial services.
This is in addition to dedicating new bandwidths for the Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS); providing new orbits for satellite coverage, especially for developing countries; securing shipping traffic in seas and oceans through updating the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS); improving transportation in smart cities; and ensuring safety of public transportation and railway through issuing global resolutions.
In response to the growing need for the radio-frequency spectrum of ESIM system, the WRC developed regulatory and technical requirements that allow using a number of frequency bandwidths, from operating on (space-earth) mode to operating on (earth-space) through the three ESIM types connected to GSO FSS.
The conference, in addition, issued a number of international resolutions to pave the way for improving transportation in smart cities. The aim is to improve traffic management, public transportation systems, road traffic safety, railway safety, and railway traffic control. This is in addition to improving other means of transportation to harness ICT to help make cities safer and smarter.
Moreover, the conference approved a new recommendation on Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), issued a new resolution on Railway Radiocommunication Systems between Train and Trackside (RSTT), and updated the GMDSS.
In addition, the WRC looked into the spectrum needs of High-Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS), as the participants managed to revise the regulating framework of Non-GSOs. HAPS is known to operate in the stratosphere, and can be used to provide a fixed broadband connection for end users and mobile backend, increasing mobile networks coverage.
A declaration was also announced on gender equality in the ITU-R. This is a key step for the ITU, as the ITU-R is the only sector that has no relevant resolution, and is managed and run by more men than women.
The WRC is one of three major ITU events, namely the Radiocommunication Assembly 2019 (RA-19), held on October 21-25, the WRC-19, held on October 28- November 22, and the First Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM23-1) for WRC-23, held on November 25-26.
The number of participants of this year’s conference exceeded 3500 from 140 countries, and more than 50 international companies and organizations specializing in ICT, recording the highest ever participation rate.
On the sidelines of the WRC, an exhibition was held comprising major ICT companies such as Facebook, Viasat, GSMA, Rohde & Schwarz, Iridium, as well as Egypt’s pavilion including major Egyptian ICT companies.