UN seeks to ensure universal radio service access

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré (Photo: ITU)Over 3,000 participants from 150 countries have gathered in Geneva for a United Nations conference regarding access to radio services

The conference has been organised to review and revise the international treaty governing the use of radio-frequency and satellite orbits and is focussed on ensuring universal access to radio services worldwide. The four-week conference, organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), will examine the technical, regulatory and operational aspects involved in the allocation and sharing of radio frequency in various services such as maritime and aeronautical transport, as well as for environmental purposes such as meteorology and disaster prediction, mitigation and relief.

“The World Radiocommunication Conference will review and modify global spectrum regulations to ensure that this most precious resource is used effectively to benefit all players,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré. “The aim is to ensure reliable radio services are available everywhere and at any time enabling people to live and travel safely while enjoying high performance radiocommunications.”

In a news release issued by ITU, the agency stressed the importance of making the most of resources available at a time of rapid technological developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs). In addition to the representatives of ITU member states, some 100 observers from among the agency’s 700 private sector members along with international organisations are attending the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12).

“The decisions taken by the ITU membership during WRC-12 will play a vital role in contributing towards improved access and development of ICT wireless infrastructure, in particular in meeting the challenges of mobile broadband and ensuring that ICTs work for the benefit of all the world’s people,” said François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, adding that the main objective will be to “enable the introduction of the latest technological developments, while protecting investments and favouring economies of scale.”

WRC-12 will also seek to advance the introduction of mobile broadband and other technologies such as the development of Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV), as well as consider the potential for radiocommunications to act as a catalyst to reduce the impact of human activity on the environment.

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