WRC 2012 final outcomes | ACMA

WRC 2012 final outcomes

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) maintains a high profile within the international radiocommunications community, particularly the activities of the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R).

The ACMA coordinates Australia’s input to the ITU-R in setting international standards for radiocommunications. This input culminates in an ITU treaty level World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) being conducted every three to four years with the 2012 WRC (WRC-12) held from 23 January to 17 February 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The ACMA at WRC-12

WRC2012_CahillChapman png WRC2012_AndrewKerans png
 Maureen Cahill, General Manager Communications Infrastructure Division, ACMA with Chris Chapman, Chair, ACMA
 Dr Andrew Kerans, Executive Manager, Spectrum Infrastructure Branch, ACMA


The ACMA oversees extensive industry and stakeholder consultation in preparation for the WRC. Preparations for WRC-12 was led by the ACMA’s Preparatory Group for WRC-12 (PG WRC-12) and the Australian Radiocommunications Study Groups (ARSGs).

The participation of Australian industry and stakeholders is essential in ensuring that the decisions and future development of international radiocommunications regulations are in Australia’s interest. ARSGs are chaired by government or industry representatives and coordinated by the ACMA. Six ARSGs, which mirror the work of the ITU-R Study Groups, were established for WRC-12.

An important part in the WRC preparatory process involves the ACMA working closely with the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) to achieve a coordinated approach to radiocommunications issues in the Asia-Pacific region. Cooperation within the APT results in Australia’s positions and proposals to a WRC being harmonised with those of other countries in the region.

Australian Radiocommunication Study Group (ARSGs)

The ARSGs are subordinate to the PG and represent a group of experts that form Australian positions on issues considered at the regional and international level and provide input to international meetings.

The ARSGs’ responsibilities include:

  • study, coordinate and provide expert advice to the PG WRC and the ACMA to assist in the development of Australian positions and contributions for Australian Delegations to ITU-R Study Groups and subordinate group meetings

  • promote and encourage the development of Australian expertise and encourage Australian participation in ITU-R Study Group matters

  • report outcomes of ITU-R studies and make recommendations, relevant to WRC Agenda items to the PG WRC

  • provide advice and guidance on relevant matters to other ARSGs and the PG WRC subsidiary groups as necessary.

Outcomes from WRC-12

Table 4.3 lists all the Agenda items discussed at WRC-12. The Agenda items are grouped by radiocommunication service and contain a brief description of the item and précis of the outcomes.

The ACMA held an industry debrief on the outcomes of WRC-12 on Monday 23 April 2012 at the National Library of Australia in Canberra.

The outcomes from WRC-12 will affect the ACMA’s future work plan, which will be reflected in future editions of the Five Year Spectrum Outlook, as Australia’s allocations are updated to align with the ITU’s requirements for the Asia–Pacific region.

Further information on the ARSGs responsible for following WRC-15 Agenda items is available here. Further information on ITU Agenda items for WRC-15 and WRC-18 is available on the ITU-R Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) page on the ITU website.

Table 4.3 Agenda items discussed at WRC-12

WRC-12 Agenda


sible ARSG

Outcome from

Services affected

Agenda item 1.3—Unmanned aircraft systems

To consider spectrum requirements and possible regulatory actions, including allocations, in order to support the safe operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), based on the results of ITU-R studies, in accordance with Resolution 421



5 030–5 091 MHz primary allocation for aeronautical mobile (route) service (AM(R)S) and existing aeronautical mobile-satellite (Route) service (AMS(R)S) for unmanned aircraft systems line of sight controls.

Restricted to use for safety and regularity of flight.

Also a new Agenda item for WRC-15 was developed to consider satellite allocations for UAS.

Maritime and aeronautical

Agenda item 1.4—New AM(R)S in the bands 112–117.975, 960–1 164 and 5 000–5 030 MHz

To consider, based on the results of ITU-R studies, any further regulatory measures to facilitate introduction of new aeronautical mobile (R) service (AM(R)S) systems in the bands 112–117.975 MHz, 960–1 164 MHz and 5 000–5 030 MHz in accordance with Resolutions 413 (Rev.WRC-07), 417 (WRC-07) and 420 (WRC-07).



Footnote 5.B103 was added, whereby in the frequency bands 5 000–5 030 and 5 091–5 150 MHz, the aeronautical mobile-satellite (R) service is subject to agreement coordination requirements under No. 9.21 of the Radio Regulations.

The use of these bands by the AMS(R)S is restricted to use for safety and regularity of flight.

Agenda item 1.9—Appendix 17—New digital technologies for MMS

To revise frequencies and channelling arrangements of Appendix 17 to the Radio Regulations, in accordance with Resolution 351 (Rev.WRC-07), in order to implement new digital technologies for the maritime mobile service.



Numerous operational changes to maritime services operating as per Appendix 17 of the Radio regulations. However, no effect to services already allocated.

Agenda item 1.10—Allocation requirements of safety systems of ships and ports

To examine the frequency allocation requirements with regard to operation of safety systems for ships and ports and associated regulatory provisions, in accordance with Resolution 357



The frequency band 495–505 kHz is allocated to the maritime mobile service on a global basis.

The frequency bands 161.9625–161.9875 MHz and 162.0125–162.0375 MHz primary allocation to the maritime mobile service.

Numerous other changes not allocation specific have been made.

Agenda item 1.14—Radiolocation service in the range
30–300 MHz

To consider requirements for new applications in the radiolocation service and review allocations or regulatory provisions for implementation of the radiolocation service in the range
30–300 MHz, in accordance with Resolution 611



Additional allocation to the radiolocation service between 154–156 MHz via a footnote that includes a list of countries.

Australia is not included in the footnote therefore the allocation does not apply.

Radiolocation and amateur

Agenda item 1.15—Oceanographic radars 3–50 MHz

To consider possible allocations in the range 3–50 MHz to the radiolocation service for oceanographic radar applications, taking into account the results of ITU-R studies, in accordance with Resolution 612



Allocations relevant to
Region 3 are:

  • 4 438–4 488 kHz (50 kHz) secondary
  • 5250–5 275 kHz (25 kHz) secondary
  • 9 305–9 355 kHz (50kHz) secondary
  • 13 450–13 550 kHz (100kHz) secondary
  • 16 100–16 200 kHz (100 kHz) secondary
  • 24 450–24 600 kHz (150 kHz) secondary
  • 26 200–26 350 kHz (150 kHz) secondary
  • 39 500–40 000 kHz (500 kHz) primary

Revised Resolution 612 specifies ‘the peak e.i.r.p. of an oceanographic radar shall not exceed 25 dBW’.

Agenda item 1.21—Radiolocation service 15.4–15.7 GHz

To consider a primary allocation to the radiolocation service in the band 15.4–15.7 GHz, taking into account the results of ITU-R studies, in accordance with Resolution 614 



Worldwide primary allocation to the radiolocation service in the band 15.4–15.7 GHz.

Agenda item 1.5—ENG spectrum harmonisation

To consider worldwide/regional harmonization of spectrum for electronic news gathering (ENG), taking into account the results of ITU-R studies, in accordance with Resolution 954



No change to allocations.

Fixed, mobile and broadcasting

Agenda item 1.8—Fixed services in bands between
71–238 GHz

To consider the progress of ITU-R studies concerning the technical and regulatory issues relative to the fixed service in the bands between 71 GHz and 238 GHz, taking into account Resolutions 731
(WRC-2000) and 732 (WRC-2000).



Inclusion of recommended emission masks in the Radio Regulations for Fixed Services operating in the 81–86 GHz and 92–94 GHz bands.

Agenda item 1.17—Sharing between MS and other services in the band 790–862 MHz in Regions 1
and 3

To consider results of sharing studies between the mobile service and other services in the band 790–862 MHz in Regions 1 and 3, in accordance with Resolution 749 (WRC‑07) to ensure the adequate protection of services to which this frequency band is allocated, and take appropriate action.


and ARSG 6

No change allocations.

Agenda item 1.20—HAPS

To consider the results of ITU-R studies and spectrum identification for gateway links for high altitude platform stations (HAPS) in the range 5 850‑7 075 MHz in order to support operations in the fixed and mobile services, in accordance with Resolution 734 (Rev.WRC-07).



Inclusion of Resolution 150—Use of the bands 6 440–6 520 and 6 560–6 640 MHz by gateway links for high altitude platform stations in the fixed service.

Agenda item 1.22—Protection of services from short range radio devices

To examine the effect of emissions from short-range devices on radiocommunication services, in accordance with Resolution 953 (WRC-07).



No change to allocations.

Agenda item 1.6—Update passive services in the band
275–3 000 GHz

To review No. 5.565 of the Radio Regulations in order to update the spectrum use by the passive services between 275 GHz and 3 000 GHz, in accordance with Resolution 950 (Rev.WRC-07), and to consider possible procedures for free-space optical-links, taking into account the results of ITU-R studies, in accordance with Resolution 955



Modification of Radio Regulation footnote No. 5.565 to identify bands in the range 275–1 000 GHz for use by passive service applications, use of this range by active services and use of frequencies in the range 1 000–3 000 GHz by both active and passive services.

Suppression of Resolution 950 (Rev.WRC-07) and Resolution 955 (Rev. WRC-07).


Agenda item 1.11—SRS (E-s) 22.55–23.15 GHz

To consider a primary allocation to the space research service (Earth-to-space) within the band 22.55 –23.15 GHz, taking into account the results of ITU-R studies, in accordance with Resolution 753



A new primary allocation was added to the space research service (Earth-to-space) within the band 22.55–
23.15 GHz.

Agenda item 1.12—Protection of primary services 37–38 GHz

To protect the primary services in the band 37–38 GHz from interference resulting from aeronautical mobile service operations, taking into account the results of ITU-R studies, in accordance with Resolution 754



Exclusion of AMS from the MS allocation in the 37–38 GHz band.

Agenda item 1.16—Meteorological aids – below 20 kHz

To consider the needs of passive systems for lightning detection in the meteorological aids service, including the possibility of an allocation in the frequency range below 20 kHz, and to take appropriate action, in accordance with Resolution 671



A new primary allocation in frequency range 8.3–11.3 kHz for passive use by Meteorological Aids.

Agenda item 1.24—Meteorological satellite service in
7 750–7 900 MHz

To consider the existing allocation to the meteorological-satellite service in the band 7 750‑7 850 MHz with a view to extending this allocation to the band 7 850–7 900 MHz, limited to non-geostationary meteorological satellites in the space-to-Earth direction, in accordance with Resolution 672 (WRC-07).



A 50 MHz extension of the 7 750–7 850 allocation to 7 900 MHz for non-geostationary meteorological satellites space-to-Earth allocations.

Agenda item 1.7—AMS(R)S 1 525–1 559 MHz and 1 626.6–1 660.5 MHz

To consider the results of ITU-R studies in accordance with Resolution 222 (Rev.WRC-07) in order to ensure long-term spectrum availability and access to spectrum necessary to meet requirements for the aeronautical mobile-satellite (R) service, and to take appropriate action on this subject, while retaining unchanged the generic allocation to the mobile-satellite service in the bands 1 525–1 559 MHz and 1 626.5–1 660.5 MHz.



New Resolution 422
Development of methodology to calculate aeronautical mobile-satellite (R) service spectrum requirements within the frequency bands 1 5451 555 MHz (space-to-Earth) and 1 646.51 656.5 MHz (Earth-to-space).


Agenda item 1.13—BSS and feeder links 21.4–22 GHz

To consider the results of ITU-R studies in accordance with Resolution 551 (WRC-07) and decide on the spectrum usage of the 21.4–22 GHz band for the broadcasting-satellite service and the associated feeder-link bands in Regions 1
and 3



New provisions, including pfd limits for terrestrial and BSS.

Agenda item 1.18—Global primary allocation to the radiodetermination satellite service in the band 2 483.5–2 500 MHz

To consider extending the existing primary and secondary radiodetermination-satellite service (space-to-Earth) allocations in the band 2 483.5–2 500 MHz in order to make a global primary allocation, and to determine the necessary regulatory provisions based upon the results of ITU-R studies, in accordance with Resolution 613 (WRC-07).



A global primary allocation to the radiodetermination-satellite service in the frequency band 2 483.5–2 500 MHz with coordination threshold pfd values of –152 dB(W/m2) in 4 kHz and
–128 dB (W/m2) in 1 MHz.

Increased p.f.d levels for the MSS.

Agenda item 1.25—MSS—additional allocations 4 GHz to 16 GHz

Studies of possible bands for new allocations to the mobile-satellite service in the Earth-to-space and space-to-Earth directions, with particular focus on the range 4 GHz to 16 GHz, taking into account sharing and compatibility, without placing undue constraints on existing services in this band, in accordance with Resolution 231



No change.

Agenda item 7—Satellite procedures

To consider possible changes in response to Resolution 86 (Rev. Marrakesh, 2002) of the Plenipotentiary Conference, in accordance with Resolution 86 (Rev.WRC-07).



Extensive number of changes—refer to WRC-12 Final Acts for details.

Agenda item 1.2—Enhancing the international spectrum regulatory framework

Taking into account the ITU-R studies carried out in accordance with Resolution 951 (Rev.WRC-07), to take appropriate action with a view to enhancing the international regulatory framework.



No change to Radio Regulations definitions regarding fixed and mobile. New Resolution 957 [PLEN/1] (WRC-12) for Studies towards review of definitions of fixed service, fixed station and mobile station. Minor revision to Recommendation 34 on Principles for the allocation of frequency bands. No change on satellite convergence issues. Suppression of Resolution 951 Enhancing the international spectrum regulatory framework.

Future work program

Agenda item 1.19—Software defined radio and cognitive radio systems

To consider regulatory measures and their relevance, in order to enable the introduction of software-defined radio and cognitive radio systems, based on the results of ITU-R studies, in accordance with Resolution 956 (WRC-07).



Establishment of Recommendation COM6/1 [76] Deployment and use of cognitive radio systems.

Agenda item 2—Incorporation by Reference

To examine the revised ITU-R Recommendations incorporated by reference in the Radio Regulations communicated by the Radiocommunication Assembly, in accordance with Resolution 28 (Rev.WRC-03)[1] and to decide whether or not to update the corresponding references in the Radio Regulations, in accordance with principles contained in the Annex to Resolution 27 (Rev.WRC-07).[2]



Inclusion in Volume 4 of RRs a cross-reference table between ITU-R Recommendations incorporated by reference and RR provisions and footnotes where they are referenced;

Modification of Resolution 27 (Rev.WRC-07) to implement the Table in Volume 4;

Update of the corresponding texts in the RRs taking into account the new versions of certain ITU-R Recommendations incorporated by reference in the RR which have been revised since WRC-07; and

Modification of certain footnotes and provisions containing references to ITU-R Recommendations for the purpose of clarity on whether they are mandatory or non-mandatory references.

Agenda item 4—Review of ITU-R Resolutions and Recommendations

In accordance with Resolution 95 (Rev.WRC-07), to review the Resolutions and Recommendations of previous conferences with a view to their possible revision, replacement or abrogation.



Various subsets of the 169 Resolutions and Recommendations in Volume 3 of the Radio Regulations were considered, and various (non substantive) changes were made under this Agenda item.

146 Resolutions and Recommendations were considered related to specific WRC-12 Agenda items (including Agenda item 4), of which 38 were sent to other Committees for consideration and comment. Many Resolutions and Recommendations have been modified or suppressed as a separate result of actions taken under other WRC-12 Agenda items. Details are shown in the Provisional Final Acts WRC-12.




1 Use of incorporation by reference in the Radio Regulations.

2 Revision of references to the text of ITU‑R Recommendations incorporated by reference in the Radio Regulations.

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