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IAFI workshop on WRC-23 and the way forward-A review

Speaking at the IAFI (ITU- APT Foundation of India) hosted a “National Workshop on Learnings from WRC-23 and the way forward. Planning for WRC-27 and forthcoming ITU and APT meetings” on February 22-23, 2024 at Hotel Hyatt Centric, MG Road, Bangalore, Gunjan Dave, Member-Technology, DoT said that the govt will shortly start studies for opening of CBRS band. “We are trying to resolve the issue of not being able to provide 5G services in the vicinity of the airports and also on demands for 4G and 5G spectrum by railways and police”, she added.

The workshop had eminent speakers and panellist exploring in-depth the learnings from the month-long World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23) held in Dubai, that saw significant contingent of Indian delegates bolstering India’s active participation in the conference. The latter half of the workshop explored the way forward and suggestions on chalking of a future roadmap for WRC-27.

The workshop that was attended by more than 100 industry and government experts. The workshop was supported by Bharat 6G Alliance, 5G India Forum, Qualcomm, Viasat and OneWeb.

Communications Today was the digital media partner.

The day long workshop commenced with a welcome address by Bharat Bhatia, President IAFI, who set the tone for the discussions and deliberations. Bhatia emphasised the international significance of WRC-23 in its collective commitment to ensure efficient and equitable allocation of the precious resource. He also mentioned that WRC-23 that draws a massive gathering of 4,000 participants from more than 172 countries saw a more enhanced role played by the Indian contingent and increasing women’s participation WRC-23. Also, for the first time an Indian was chosen as Vice- Chairperson for one of the critical committees of the WRC that was responsible for key spectrum allocation decisions.

Gulab Chand, Joint Wireless Advisor, WPC, DoT, expressed his appreciation for the consistent efforts put in by IAFI in organising seminars that provide a platform for discussions that has now put India on the global map. He briefly covered the history of WRC which had the first convention in 1906 in Germany and has grown today to be such a crucial event that provides a backbone to the global commitment to build a digital future. He emphasised India’s success in establishing its 6Ghz charter and country’s overall success in providing more ease of business.

Dr Kumar N Sivarajan, CTO, Tejas Networks emphasised the role WRC-23’s efforts in promoting ubiquitous communication that would put an end to some remaining lack of connectivity in areas such as in aircrafts currently. For Tejas as an OEM, he said, it was an exciting and challenging time to meet the ever-increasing need for equipment to meet the rapidly changing face of service technology.

First technical session of the IAFI hosted national workshop on learnings from WRC-23 and way forward to WRC-27 began with updates on WRC-23 outcomes. It was chaired by Gulab Chand, Joint Wireless Advisor, DoT and insights on WRC-23 provided by Dr. Punit Rathod of Qualcomm. A panel, including Dr Sendil Kumar Devar, Director, Standards and Spectrum, Ericsson; Ashwani Kumar, Head of Spectrum and 6G Engagement, Nokia; Dr Punit Rathod, Vinay Vastava, General Manager, Reliance Jio and Diwakar Sharma, Sr. Chief Engineer, Samsung India. The issues discussed highlighted WRC-23’s key endeavour to bring together all stakeholders in a process that aimed at building consensus; providing a stable and predictable regulatory environment needed for future investments; enabling new radiocommunication technologies, systems and applications to access the radio spectrum; protection of the existing radiocommunication services and benefits of worldwide and regional spectrum harmonization.

The second technical session began with updates on WRC-23 outcomes related to the satellite services, addressing global radiocommunication implications. It was chaired by Munesh Kumar, Joint Wireless Advisor, DoT featuring insights from Bashir Patel of Inmarsat. Panellists, including Dr. Hanumantha Rayappa of ISRO, Sonali Nanda of InSpace and Cristian Gomez of Viasat discussed the challenges of global harmonization and the decision to identify IMT by footnotes in 6GHz band.

The third technical session was chaired by Bharat Bhatia. Dr. Sendil Kumar Devar, Ericsson introduced the WRC-27 Agenda and highlighted agenda Item 1.7, focusing on 6G spectrum. He emphasized on the global studies and possible regional identification. Panel experts, including Dr. Punit Rathod; Marta Donate Fuente of Eutelsat and OneWeb, J Sofi Jebasoundaram of ISRO HQ and Udrivolf Pica of SpaceX, discussed emerging issues and future considerations, shaping the direction for global radiocommunication discourse.

The concluding session of the workshop was chaired by Vikram Tiwathia, Deputy Director General of COAI and dealt with India’s participation in future spectrum studies in ITU and APT meetings. The key note address was delivered by NK Bhola, Joint Wireless Advisor, WPC, DoT. He emphasised that India needs to actively participate in various studies and listed key studies requested by WRC-23. The session discussed extensively the future spectrum studies in ITU and APT meetings. The participants included Jishnu Aravindakshan, Tejas Networks; R Prakash, Scientist, C-DoT; Diwakar Sharma, Samsung India; Dr. Sendil Kumar Devar representing 5GIF and Ashwani Kumar, Nokia.

CT Bureau

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