PRESS RELEASE: First conclusions of Radiocommunication conference WRC-23: Frequencies for terrestrial TV guaranteed

Prague/Dubai, 15 December 2023 - Representatives of the CTU signed the Final Acts of the World Radiocommunication Conference WRC-23 in Dubai. For four weeks, representatives from all over the world discussed the international use of radio frequencies and orbital paths. The Czech Republic was represented by representatives of key departments led by CTU. A number of conclusions, which will be discussed in more detail in the 1/2024 monitoring report or in subsequent reports, were agreed at the conference.

One of the key topics was the future of the 470-694 MHz band used in Europe for terrestrial television broadcasting (DTT). The newly approved conditions based on the European proposal ensure long-term international protection for DTT. The entire band, including 600 MHz, remains allocated for priority TV broadcasting in Europe until at least 2031. The conditions continue to guarantee that countries can use the full range of frequencies for DTT in the long term.

"I consider the results of the conference a success for Europe and the Czech Republic. A number of European proposals and positions were promoted. The WRC-23 conference confirmed the international protection of frequencies for terrestrial broadcasting" said Marek Ebert, CTU Council Chairman.
The allocation of bands for scientific projects, the provision of communications from ships and aircraft in remote areas of the planet through satellite networks, or for mobile communications for some regions outside Europe was also approved. On the basis of operational and procedural experience, the conditions for the long-term sustainable use of frequencies and orbital paths by satellites were adjusted.

In terms of global interests, one of the most discussed points was the possible allocation of the 6425-7125 MHz band for 5G/6G networks in a situation where the band is used by satellite applications and thus may cause interference from 5G/6G. Therefore, the final solution included the identification of limiting conditions for 5G/6G radiation and, at the same time, a decision to find alternative globally usable frequencies for scientific satellite projects in the field of climate research that use this band. We add that outside the WRC-23 programme, the possibility of shared RLAN (Wi-Fi) and 5G/6G operation in this band is being studied in Europe.

In addition, about forty areas of new radio spectrum requirements and related regulatory issues solutions were discussed. As a result of the meeting, study points for future WRC conferences include e.g. connectivity of mobile terminals through satellite networks, the search for additional bands for 5G/6G in centimetre bands or frequencies for space weather sensors to contribute to more accurate solar storm forecasts, among others. Non-European regions have also expressed requests to seek conditions for non-geostationary satellite networks, which are likely to play an important role in the future development of wireless telecommunications.

Tereza Meravá
Czech Telecommunication Office