World Radio Conference to improve radio services: Machengete

Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) director-general, Gift Machengete, yesterday said the World Radio Communication (WRC-19) conference to be held in Egypt from October will define new and better ways to regulate radio services and applications.

By Staff Reporter

Officially opening the third national preparatory meeting for WRC-19 in Harare, Machengete said in a country like Zimbabwe, where radio communications are playing an important role in connecting people and responding to climate change, among others, the outcome of the meeting will bring important national positions that can be taken to the African preparatory meeting in South Africa for possible adoption as African Common Proposals (AFCPs).

“WRC-19 represents an important landmark in the development of the global radio communication sector and is, indeed, a major opportunity for developing nations to ensure that radio regulations are updated and modernised in order for them to better respond to the social, security and developmental needs of the developing world,” he said.

Machengete said there were around 33 topics on the WRC-19 agenda, most of which are relevant to Zimbabwe.

He said some of the main issues to be discussed at the conference include the provision of additional radio frequency spectrum to meet the rapidly growing demand for mobile broadband communications and, in particular, to meet the spectrum requirements for new generation broadband technologies, including IMT 2020, known as 5G.

Machengete said one of the major highlights of WRC-19 will be the identification of a spectrum for 5G.

“As the envisaged anchor of emerging innovative services like automated driving, drones, precision agriculture, virtual reality, remote medical surgery, and advanced 3D emerging and printing, 5G will have to support ultra-reliable communication, deliver very low-latency and support enhanced mobile broadband services,” he said.

“Needless to say, these stringent requirements will put tremendous pressure on spectrum resources that are already in short supply to support the existing services. It is, therefore, important that we find a fine balance on protecting existing services and providing additional spectrum for growing and emerging services.”

Engineers from telecommunications and broadcasting companies such as Econet, NetOne, Telecel, TelOne, Transmedia, ZBC, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, as well as the Airforce and University of Zimbabwe, among others, attended the stakeholders’ preparatory meeting.

WRC-19 will take place in Egypt, from October 28 to November 22 and Potraz invited all telecommunications and broadcasting stations in Zimbabwe to participate in the event.

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