Wednesday, February 15, 2012

472-479 kHz Amateur Allocation Passes WRC-12


Amateur Radio Gets Secondary MF Allocation at WRC-12


It’s official -- delegates attending the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) have approved a new 7-kilohertz-wide secondary allocation between 472-479 kHz for the Amateur Radio Service. Agenda Item 1.23 had both its first and second readings in Plenary Session on Tuesday, February 14; to become part of the ITU’s Radio Regulations, each Agenda Item must be read twice in Plenary Session. While the Final Acts will be signed on Friday, February 17 at the close of the Conference, the new allocation will not take effect until it is entered into the Radio Regulations. No date has been set for this, but it is unlikely to be earlier than January 1, 2013. In any case, no amateur can use the band until his or her national regulations are revised to implement the allocation.


Agenda Item 1.23 originally called for a 15-kilohertz-wide spectrum in parts of the band 415-526.5 kHz, taking into account the need to protect existing services. But according to ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, this was in conflict with the Maritime Mobile Service. WRC-12 delegates approved Agenda Item 1.10, which called for a worldwide exclusive allocation to the Maritime Mobile Service of 495-505 kHz. Discussion of this allocation to Maritime Mobile "has been in the works throughout the conference preparation (i.e. since 2008)," Sumner explained, "and was the reason why the MF amateur allocation could not be made in this band as some amateurs had hoped. That’s why we had to look elsewhere and is what put us in conflict with aeronautical radionavigation."