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Podcast: How will WRC-23 deal with the accelerated growth of the satellite industry?

In the second episode of our special podcast series, we speak to ITU-R Study Group 4 vice chair Florence Magnier about some of the major satellite agenda items that will be discussed at the conference.

| Richard Haas

A common criticism of the WRC process is that the four-year cycle is too long. The rate of technological development today means that a lot can change in four years, and the ITU can risk falling behind in creating the rules and regulations that govern new emerging spectrum users.

A good example of this is the recent surge of interest in low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations. Initially spearheaded by SpaceX, the LEO market is soon expected to become even more crowded, as competitors such as OneWeb and Amazon near commercialisation.

ITU regulations have had some difficulties keeping up with this growth. Many of the rules governing satellite orbits and spectrum rules date back decades and are simply no longer suitable for these new users.

WRC-23, however, is expected to make good progress in tackling many of these concerns. In the second episode of our WRC-23 special podcast series, we speak to Florence Magnier, vice-chair of ITU-R Study Group 4.

Magnier talks us through the nitty-gritty of the agenda items that will dictate satellite filing rules for mega-constellations. She also touches on the potential issue of interference between new LEO systems and legacy geostationary satellite (GSO) constellations, and how the ITU is working to develop rules to avoid this.

The podcast also touches on some future agenda items that will set the course of study for the next four years leading up to WRC-27. In particular, Magnier discusses an agenda item that attempts to tackle the issue of operators splitting their satellite filings across multiple national administrations, a common practice that has implications for how ITU rules are enforced.

You can listen to the new podcast below. It can also be found on all major podcast platforms.

Read more about satellite-related agenda items at WRC-23 in the relevant part of our updated WRC-23 dossier.

By | Richard Haas
Richard is a journalist and analyst at PolicyTracker. Apart from writing about spectrum policy news, his main responsibilities include maintaining the PolicyTracker Spectrum Database and the 5G Observatory website for the European Commission. Richard is fluent in English and German.
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