The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23) is set to begin in Dubai on Monday, Nov. 20. With over 3,000 delegates from member states of the ITU in attendance, the conference will focus on reviewing and revising the ITU Radio Regulations, an international treaty that governs the use of radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.
One of the important issues discussed at the conference is the inclusion of non-terrestrial networks (NTN) in 5G standards and the development of technology that supports direct-to-device (D2D) services. Proposals have been submitted to consider adding allocations to mobile service bands for international mobile telecommunications (IMT) and mobile satellite service (MSS) to enable D2D services without harmful interference.
There is also a discussion regarding the need to update the rules around satellite power limits, known as equivalent power flux-density (EPFD). NGSO operators like Amazon and SpaceX are urging the adoption of a future agenda item to study and potentially update the EPFD rules, claiming that the current limits reduce the availability of NGSO satellite systems and increase the cost of broadband services. However, some GEO operators oppose this, arguing that it would disrupt their ability to provide vital services.
Additionally, the conference will address the issue of orbital tolerance in low Earth orbit (LEO), which determines how much a constellation of satellites can deviate from its orbital information. This has implications for collisions, debris, and the future access of emerging space nations to LEO.
Overall, WRC-23 aims to address these important issues and lay the groundwork for future changes in how the world uses radio-frequency spectrum and satellite resources.