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World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC23)

The conference has successfully concluded, and the Republic of Croatia secured a valuable resource by registering an orbital position in the Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) Plan, specifically for geostationary satellites in Earth's orbit.

Zagreb, December 20, 2023 - By signing the Final Acts on December 15, 2023, after four weeks of intensive negotiations, the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC23) in Dubai, UAE, has come to an end. WRC23 addressed a range of topics related to the management and allocation of the radiofrequency spectrum and the administration of satellite orbits. Croatia, among other achievements, secured its right to a geostationary position in the FSS plan for the Fixed Satellite Service.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) typically organizes World Radiocommunication Conferences every four years, where decisions are made on pre-agreed topics, attempting to reconcile various economic and political interests of individual countries or industries that rely on the use of radio frequencies or satellite orbits. The goal is to harmonize the future use of radio frequencies over the broadest geographical areas, encompassing one or more regions within the divided world under the ITU.
The following topics were significant for the Republic of Croatia at WRC23:
  • Topic 1.2 (AI 1.2): that referred to the identification of bands 3300-3400 MHz (in regions 1 and 2), 3600-3800 MHz (in region 2), 6425-7025 MHz (in region 1), 7025-7125 MHz (globally), and 10-10.5 GHz (in region 2) for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT). The identification of bands 6425-7025 MHz and 7025-7125 MHz for IMT, where some countries have decided to allocate this spectrum for unlicensed applications such as Wireless Access Systems/Radio Local Area Network (WAS/RLAN), was crucial. Additionally, it was necessary to ensure the protection of Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) links in these bands. While WRC23 decided to identify the 6425-7025 MHz band in region 1 (Europe, Africa, Russia) and a few other countries in regions 2 and 3, and the 7025-7125 MHz band in regions 1 and 3 (Asia, Australia, and the Pacific) for IMT, it remains to be seen what decisions European and EU countries will make regarding the use of these bands at the local level.
  • Within Topic 1.5 (AI 1.5), it was necessary to analyse the current utilization of the frequency band 470-960 MHz and future needs for that spectrum. In accordance with this, the possibilities of allocating the 470-694 MHz band for the mobile service were considered. The results of WRC23 for AI 1.5 are quite aligned with the common European position (ECP) that Europe presented at this WRC23. The 470-694 MHz band is allocated for the mobile service on a secondary basis, indicating the direction of the band's use after 2031. Notably, WRC23 also agreed on one of the topics for WRC31, where the possible enhancement of the mobile service to a primary basis will be discussed. Until then, in most European countries, this band will continue to be used for television broadcasting, a purpose it has served intensively since the early days of television. The result of WRC23 also includes the primary allocation of the frequency band 470-694 MHz for the mobile service in Arab countries. Additionally, it was evident that African countries and Russia explicitly opposed any other purpose and use of this band. Thus, only a few African countries at WRC23 allocated the sub-band 614-694 MHz for the mobile service on a secondary basis. 
  • Topic 10 (AI 10): referred to defining the topics to be addressed at future World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC27 and WRC31). It resulted in defining various topics from all areas of radio communications, from lunar communications to considering a range of bands for potential identification for IMT. This part is particularly important for Europe and Croatia because studies will be conducted to analyse the possibility of allocating the 4400-4800 MHz, 7125-7250 MHz, and 7725-8400 MHz bands for IMT. Considering the existing users of these bands, Europe and Croatia are not in favour of such allocations. The emphasis will be on defining technical and regulatory measures to protect existing services in these bands.
  • Topic 7, Sub-Topic E (AI 7E) of the World Radiocommunication Conference, including WRC23, addresses regulatory procedures related to the management of frequency and orbital resources in satellite communications. For Croatia, WRC23 was particularly important in connection with the registration of new Croatian rights to orbital and frequency resources in the Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) Plan.Until WRC23, Croatia shared common rights in the FSS Plan with successor states of the former Yugoslavia, marked as allotment XYU0000. Due to the uniqueness of the geostationary orbit (GSO), the possibility of obtaining new positions and frequency resources is highly limited and subject to lengthy and complex coordination agreements with other planned or operational satellite networks. For this reason, within Sub-Topic E of Topic 7, Croatia, along with seven other countries, initiated proceedings for amendments to the ITU-R Radio Regulations, Annex 30B, with the aim of facilitating the coordination process for countries without rights in the FSS Plan. The result of WRC23 is favourable for Croatia, as the proposed amendments were largely accepted. Simultaneously, within the same topic, Croatia also secured the right to an early entry into the said Plan (GSO orbit, fixed satellite service, position 63°E, frequency resources in C and Ku bands), even before completing the coordination process. This achievement occurred parallel with the ongoing coordination process.

For additional information please contact:

Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM)

  • Roberta Frangeša-Mihanovića 9 Street
  • 10110 Zagreb, Croatia
  • Tel. + 385 (0) 1 700 70 07
  • Fax + 385 (0)1 700 70 70

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About Hakom

HAKOM - Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries – ensures preconditions for a fair market competition, stable growth and environment for innovations in the electronic communications and postal services market. HAKOM protects users’ interests and the possibility of choice among various communications and postal services at affordable prices, defines sustainable competitive conditions for operators and service providers under fair conditions for return on investment, and provides support to economic growth, public services and the quality of life in the Republic of Croatia by using modern technologies. HAKOM’ strategic goals are: to promote regulation of the electronic communications and postal services market, to support growth of investments and innovations in the electronic communications and postal services market, to provide efficient use of limited resources, to accelerate the growth of broadband products and services, to provide affordable offers of communications and postal services, to provide protection and informing of users, to build an efficient and comprehensive information system, to define and implement efficient processes, and to acquire multi-disciplinary expertise in market regulation.