In this special E-Space SAT Chat series, we connect with Amy Mehlman, vice president, Global Affairs and Stakeholder Relations for a behind the scenes on E-Space’s participation at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23).
WRC-23 is an event organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and is held every four years. It serves as a platform to review and update the radio regulations, which govern the global use of radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.
In this Q&A series, Amy shares insights into E-Space’s interests to unlock innovation and pave the way for expanded access to frequencies, fostering a more connected and equitable space-powered world.
E-Space: What specific spectrum-related challenges or opportunities is E-Space aiming to address at WRC-23, and how does it align with our business objectives?
Amy: It is in the interest of E-Space and the satellite community as a whole to increase access to certain frequencies to allow for further innovation and utility to provide services to end users around the globe.
E-Space: Can you provide insights into the key agenda items or proposals E-Space is actively involved in during WRC-23, especially in terms of spectrum allocation and utilization?
Amy: We continue to be interested in pursuing efforts toward a more sustainable use of space, allowing for all those who would like to access space to do so. In that vein, we continue to promote those agenda items that allow for additional access to MSS frequencies, ensuring orbital tolerances as well as interference criterion that allow for proper flexibility to co-exist with the multiple systems that already are, and will occupy, low, medium and geostationary orbits.
E-Space: How does E-Space foresee the outcomes of WRC-23 impacting its current and future projects, particularly in the context of emerging technologies and global spectrum management?
Amy: We are hopeful that the member states recognize the spectrum requirements that the satellite industry, and in particular, those that would like to provide services via NGSO MSS systems.
E-Space: In what ways is E-Space contributing to international cooperation and coordination efforts at WRC-23 to ensure efficient and equitable use of the radio-frequency spectrum on a global scale?
Amy: It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that such cooperation leads to global harmonization of frequencies to maximize investment into technology that can be utilized globally. The E-Space team is working with the many delegations within the WRC toward this goal.
E-Space: Can you share any initiatives E-Space is engaging in with other industry stakeholders or regulatory bodies at WRC-23 to address shared challenges to promote innovation in the field of satellite and space communications?
Amy: Spectrum, while vast, is still a fairly finite resource when it comes to those frequencies that are able to be harnessed today. There are many different users or potential users vying for each of these bands. Sharing of frequencies presents an opportunity and a challenge to develop ways to co-exist. WRC is a four or sometimes an eight year or more process. All of this has cost and time involved and the key is to find those sweet spots where the advances in technology, spectrum availability and harmonization will allow new companies like ours to flourish.
WRC-23 kicks off on November 20, 2023 in Dubai. The decisions made and discussions held during this conference will help shape the landscape of global telecommunications and spectrum management for years to come.