WMO Steering Group on Radio-Frequency Coordination (SG-RFC)


Report on WRC-07


Meeting:                                            World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07)


Venue and dates:                              Geneva, 22 October - 16 November 2007


SG-RFC participants*:                     Roger ATKINSON (Australia, BoM)

Roger CARTER (UK Metoffice)





Jean-Michel RAINER (WMO)**

Philippe TRISTANT (Météo France)**


Jianguo ZHANG, CMA

Zhiqing ZHANG, CMA/ National Satellite Meteorological Center




Other participants*:                          Karel DE WAAL (South African Weather Service)

Henry KARANJA (Kenyan Weather Service)


Manfred OTTER (ESA)



Klaus RUF (DLR)


* From NMHSs or related national and international Organizations

** Representing WMO at WRC-07


The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) had to cope with 21 agenda items among of which seven items concern frequency bands or issues of prime interest for meteorology. The positions of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) were presented in document WRC-07/20 concerning:


                 Agenda item 1.2:     Extension of the 18 GHz MetSat allocation and protection of the 10.7 and 36 GHz EESS (passive) bands

                 Agenda item 1.3:     Upgrading and protection of radiolocation in the 9 GHz range, and 200 MHz extension of the Earth exploration-satellite service (EESS) allocation at 9 500-9 800 MHz

                 Agenda item 1.4:     Impact on S-Band meteorological radars and satellite C-band related to future frequency bands for IMT-2000

                 Agenda item 1.12:   Coordination and notification procedures for Earth exploration-satellite service (EESS) (active and passive) sensors

                 Agenda item 1.17:   Protection of the 1.4 GHz EESS (passive) band

                 Agenda item 1.20:   Unwanted emissions in EESS (passive) bands

                 Agenda item 7.2:     WRC-11 agenda


Agenda item 1.2:

Extension of the 18 GHz METSAT allocation: a 100 MHz extension of the current 18.1-18.3 GHz METSAT allocation (see Footnote 5.519) was under discussion. Even though a global allocation was preferred by WMO, it appeared during the discussions that 2 views were opposed and that it would not be possible to find a common position. At the end, the extension was agreed in the 18-18.3 GHz in Region 2 (North and South Americas) and in the 18.1-18.4 GHz in Region 1 (Europe, Africa) and Region 3 (Asia-Pacific).

See detailed outcomes in annex 1


Protection of the EESS (passive) in the 10.6-10.68 GHz and 36-37 GHz bands: These bands are shared with active services and the discussions focused on possible limits to be applied for those active services in order to ensure the protection of passive sensors.

The positions between administrations supporting mandatory limits and those supported only recommended limits were quite balanced and it rapidly appeared that the case of the band 10.6-10.68 GHz band was a key for finding a solution since it is currently quite heavily used in some countries or that some administrations were not willing to modify the current limits as in Footnote 5.482.

A solution was only found at the end of the third week of the conference where a global compromise for all passive bands considered under agenda item 1.2 as well as 1.20.

At the end, for agenda item 1.2, the conclusions were to impose mandatory limits on active services in the 36-37 GHz band and recommended levels for the band 10.6-10.68 GHz in respectively Resolutions COM5/6 and COM5/5. The recommended levels in Resolution COM5/5 are associated with a “noting that EESS (passive) sensors provide worldwide measurements that benefit all countries, even if these sensors are not operated by their country” that would hopefully make such administrations deploying active services in this band have a clear knowledge of the importance of passive sensing.

One can note that, China, Japan and Latvia deleted their country name from the provision of Footnote 5.482 excluding themselves from applications of any limits prior WRC-07, whereas one can note that 12 new countries added their country name at the end of WRC-07, among of which 8 new Arab countries.

See detailed outcomes in annex 2 (10.6 GHz) and annex 3 (36 GHz)


Agenda item 1.20:

Unlike under agenda item 1.2, agenda item 1.20 was dealing with the protection of passive sensing (in the 1.4, 24, 31, 50 and 52 GHz band) from unwanted emissions produced by active services allocated in adjacent bands. This issue has been on the agenda of the last 3 WRCs and the discussion at WRC-07 also started in an opposition between administrations supporting mandatory limits and those supporting only recommended levels or even no limits at all.

Although for the 1.4 GHz band, the positions were more balanced, mainly due to the fact that a number of active services around this band (Fixed, Mobile or Radars) are heavily deployed, a large majority of administrations were supporting mandatory limits for the higher bands, recognising their tremendous importance.

At the end, in a global compromise with agenda item 1.2, the conclusions were to impose mandatory limits for the active services close to the 24, 31, 50 and 52 GHz bands and recommended levels for active services around 1.4 GHz in Resolution COM5/4. As in Resolution COM5/5 (for agenda item 1.2), the recommended levels are associated with a “noting that EESS (passive) sensors provide worldwide measurements that benefit all countries, even if these sensors are not operated by their country” that would hopefully make such administrations deploying active services in this band have a clear knowledge of the importance of passive sensing.

See detailed outcomes in annex 4


Agenda item 1.3:

The radiolocation service in the 9300-9500 MHz band has been upgraded to primary (keeping the priority for Meteorological radars) even though a footnote provides radionavigation a highest status, but only for radars.

The 9300-9500 MHz has also seen the adoption of the EESS and Space Research (active) service allocations as an extension of the current 9500-9800 MHz, in accordance with the WMO position (in view protecting the meteorological radars) since these allocations are associated with a footnote stating that this extension is limited to those systems requiring more than 300 MHz bandwidth that cannot be accommodated in the existing band.

One can also note that the European proposal to also allocate the 9800-9900 MHz band to EESS and Space Research (Active) has finally been agreed by the conference, even though on a secondary basis.

See detailed outcomes in annex 5

Agenda item 1.4:

This agenda item has been by far the more difficult and discussed issue during WRC-07.

The Meteorological community was "only" interested in the 2700-2900 MHz (radars) and 3400-4200 MHz (C-band satellite) bands and the result is positive for these 2 bands:

-         the band 2700-2900 MHz band was disregarded for IMT during the first days of the conference, thanks to a large support from almost all administrations

-          after difficult and long debates, only the band 3400-3600 MHz has been identified for IMT systems in a large number of European, Arab and African countries (as well as in few Asiatic countries) hence safeguarding most commercial C-Band transponders and in particular those in the 3600-3800 MHz band that are currently or will be used by the meteorological  community of for GEO

See detailed outcomes in annex 6

Agenda item 1.12:

Consistently with the WMO position, the possibility of registration of active and passive sensors has been agreed with the consistent modifications of RR Appendix 4.


Agenda item 1.17:

Without any surprise since all positions presented at the conference were going in the same direction, the secondary MSS feeder link allocation close to the 1.4 GHz “passive” band has been deleted.


Agenda item 7.2:

A number of proposed agenda items for the next WRC-11 were made by several administrations or regional groups and after difficult discussions WRC-07 agreed on an WRC-11 agenda including 25 different items (Resolution COM6/7), among of which 4 are of direct interest for the meteorological community:

-         Agenda item 1.6 : passive bands above 275 GHz (presented by different regional groups and WMO), associated with Resolution 950 (rev WRC-07)

-         Agenda item 1.15 : Oceanographic radars in the HF bands (presented by the US) , associated with Resolution COM6/15

-         Agenda item 1.16 : lightning detection below 20 kHz (presented by Europe and WMO), associated with Resolution COM6/16

-         Agenda item 1.24 : Extension of the METSAT allocation at 7.8 GHz (presented by Europe and WMO), even though the initial proposal has been reduced to only consider an extension by 50 MHz in the 7850-7900 MHz, associated with Resolution COM6/20

One could also consider that some other agenda items could have some impact on meteorological interests. Even though it may be early to determine which of them may have such impacts at the end, one can for example already highlight 1.8, 1.14, 1.22 and 1.25.

See detailed WRC-11 agenda and related Resolutions in annex 7

The proposal on "Earth Observation Recognition" (presented by Europe and WMO) was not agreed as a WRC-11 agenda item but has been agreed as a stand alone Resolution COM6/23 “Radiocommunications use for Earth observation applications” calling for studies and a report to WRC-11, recognising that, for this type of issue not calling for any additional allocation or regulatory measures, it is similar to an agenda item. One can also note that, in particular, this Resolution already emphasises the importance of frequencies for Earth Observation and clearly mentions GEO and GEOSS.

See detailed Resolution COM6/23 in annex 8


Other RR modifications related to meteorological interests:

A number of different modifications to the Radio Regulations were also made in bands or to provisions that are of interest for the meteorological community, mainly in RR Footnotes in which country names have been deleted.

See detailed outcomes in annex 9