World Radiocommunication Conference 12: Implications for the Spectrum Eco-System

34 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2012 Last revised: 20 May 2014

Mohamed El-Moghazi

University of Strathclyde; National Telecom Regulatory Authority of Egypt (NTRA)

Jason Whalley

Northumbria University

James Irvine

University of Strathclyde

Date Written: March 31, 2012

Abstract

Spectrum allocation is once more a key issue facing the global telecommunications industry. Largely overlooked in current debates, however, is the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC). Decisions taken by WRC shape the future roadmap of the telecommunications industry, not least because it has the ability to shape the global spectrum allocation framework. In the debates of WRC-12 it is possible to identify three main issues: enhancement of the international spectrum regulatory framework, regulatory measures required to introduce Cognitive Radio Systems (CRS) technologies; and, additional spectrum allocation to mobile service.

WRC-12 eventually decided not to change the current international radio regulations with regard to the first two issues and agreed to the third issue. The main implications of WRC-12 on the spectrum ecosystem are that most of actors are not in support of the concept of spectrum flexibility associated with trading and that the concept of spectrum open access is not under consideration. This is explained by the observation that spectrum trading and spectrum commons weaken state control over spectrum and challenge the main principles and norms of the international spectrum management regime. In addition, the mobile allocation issue has shown the lack of conformity with the main rules of the regime: regional spectrum allocation in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) three regions, and the resistance to the slow decision making procedures. In conclusion, while the rules and decision-making procedures of the international spectrum management regime were challenged in the WRC-12, the main principles and norms are still accepted by the majority of countries.

Keywords: WRC-12, cognitive radio, trading, spectrum policy, ITU.

Suggested Citation

El-Moghazi, Mohamed and Whalley, Jason and Irvine, James, World Radiocommunication Conference 12: Implications for the Spectrum Eco-System (March 31, 2012). 2012 TRPC. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2032023 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2032023

Mohamed El-Moghazi (Contact Author)

University of Strathclyde ( email )

16 Richmond Street
Glasgow 1XQ, Scotland
United Kingdom

National Telecom Regulatory Authority of Egypt (NTRA)

Smart Village, B4.
Cairo Alex Desert Road
Giza
Egypt

Jason Whalley

Northumbria University ( email )

Ellison Place
208, City Campus East-1
Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 8ST
United Kingdom

James Irvine

University of Strathclyde ( email )

16 Richmond Street
Glasgow 1XQ, Scotland
United Kingdom

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