July 2nd, 2019

Commonwealth member countries call on CTO to lead the way on international collaboration for spectrum management

CTO Acting Secretary-General commits the organisation to playing a leading role in coordinating Commonwealth views and promoting best practices.

London, 21 June 2019 Honourable Vincent Odotei Sowah, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Communication, Republic of Ghana, and Honourable Paul Lewis, Ministry of Communications, Works, Energy and Labour, Montserrat, led calls for international collaboration on spectrum management on the opening day of the Commonwealth Spectrum Management Forum’19, taking place in London this week.

The event is convened to enable international bodies, policymakers, telecoms regulators and experts from across the Commonwealth to come together and share experiences in spectrum management.

The forum discussed the position of the Commonwealth countries concerning spectrum and its input into the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) in October, over the three days. The input into WRC-19 can only be achieved by constructive dialogue between the Commonwealth member states, the ICT industry and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialised agency for radiocommunication leading the WRC-19.

The need for collaboration in international processes, spectrum sharing, best practices and across regional borders was widely agreed by speakers and delegates at the event.

“‘Today both mobile and wireless communication technologies continue to improve, and as many more of us access and increasingly also depend on them, spectrum is becoming an ever more important finite resource”, said Gisa Fuatai Purcell, Acting Secretary-General, Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation

Mrs Purcell  was speaking alongside, Honourable Paul Lewis, Minister of Communications, Works & Labour, Montserrat, Honourable Vincent Odotei Sowah, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Communication, Republic of Ghana, and Diana Tomimura, Spectrum Regulation and Policy Advisor on behalf of Mario Maniewicz, Director, Radiocommunication Bureau, ITU, at the opening ceremony of the forum .

The World Radiocommunications Conference, the WRC-19, will take place in Sharma-El-Sheik in November this year and will have profound impact not only on the advancement of radiocommunications, but also on the achievement of the sustainable development goals.

The Agenda of the WRC includes 5G (or, IMT-2020, as we call it in the ITU), High Altitude Platforms (or HAPS), Wireless Access Systems including RLANs, Non-Geostationary Orbit Satellites, Earth Stations in Motion, and Intelligent Transport Systems.

The Commonwealth Spectrum Management forum is a great opportunity to discuss more about the services and applications that compose the agenda of WRC 19 and to find commonalities in the positions of the countries within the commonwealth.”, said Diana Tomimura, Spectrum Regulation and Policy Advisor, ITU.

The theme of the Commonwealth Spectrum Management Forum’19 is World Radiocommunication Management-19 and the spectrum challenge: Achieving wireless capacity for digital transformation with discussion also covering subjects such as the future of broadcasting and spectrum implications, efficient spectrum utilisation, 5G issues and spectrum requirements and planning for the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) in 2019. Participants included delegations from Belize, Botswana, Ghana, Gibraltar, Vanuatu, Jamaica, Mauritius, Independent State of Samoa, Sierra Leone, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Forum sponsors Avanti Communications Group plc, Inmarsat, SES, Avanti and ESOA contributed to the programme with presentations on universal connectivity..

The CTO is mandated to coordinate ICT activities across the Commonwealth,” acting Secretary-General Mrs Purcell said in response to the call from Minister Sowah. “Alongside events such as this Forum which are convened to facilitate good practices in spectrum management, we also coordinate Commonwealth views for the WRC in order to inform our members of the issues and processes, and also to facilitate wider international agreement at the meeting. We will continue to play a leading role in this important area as the international community strives to ensure that spectrum can enable socio-economic development throughout the Commonwealth.

For more information please contact Osman Siddiqui, Senior Communications Officer at o.siddiqui@cto.int or +44 (0)20 8600 3813.