Geneva: The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is pleased to announce that the next World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23), will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) between 20 November and 15 December 2023.

Held every four years for a period of four weeks, the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) is mandated to update the Radio Regulations, the sole international treaty governing the use of the radio frequency spectrum and the geostationary-satellite and non-geostationary satellite orbits.

WRC-23 will bring national government authorities and telecommunication regulatory agencies together with representatives of key radiocommunications users and providers, for crucial policy and technical regulatory discussions at the global level.

“I am very pleased that the WRC-23 is set to happen in [Dubai] in the United Arab Emirates," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “The world has come through the COVID-19 pandemic relying on digital technologies and services like never before. WRC 23 provides our quadrennial opportunity to update the Radio Regulations, ensure the sustainable evolution of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for all, and establish a coordinated roadmap for expanding radiocommunication services.”

International cooperation maintained through the four-year conference cycle supports the availability of, and future investment in, radiocommunication services that are free of harmful interference.

Engineer Majed Sultan Al Mesmar Director General of the UAE Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) said: “The United Arab Emirates is delighted to extend a warm welcome to ITU Members to the city of [Dubai] for WRC-23. As a major hub and global leader in the digital economy, the UAE is keen on supporting ITU in the vital task of allocating global resources such as radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbit positions to create a seamless, reliable, and innovative global communication system.”

Radio Regulations updates

Delegates to the conference – a direct governing body for ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) – are expected to consider the results of technical studies on specific matters on the agenda, and to revise the Radio Regulations accordingly. Such revisions will serve to expand access to radio frequencies for various services and applications, including broadcast services, emergency communications, and satellite and space services, wherever needed worldwide.

The flagship conference will be preceded by the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-23), taking place from 13 to 17 November 2023 at the same venue.

Preparations underway

Over 4,000 delegates are expected to attend WRC-23 and RA-23, from ITU’s 193 Member States. Also, in attendance as observers will be representatives from the 278 ITU Radiocommunication Sector Members, representing varied stakeholders including equipment manufacturers, telecommunications companies, network operators, international organisations, and industry forums, as well as representatives from ITU’s United Nations sister agencies, regional telecommunication organizations and intergovernmental organizations operating satellite systems, and academia.

“WRC‑23 will play a key role in shaping the future of technical and regulatory framework for the provision of radiocommunication services in all countries,” said Mario Maniewicz, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. “The economic opportunities brought about by technology should be available not only for some of us, but for all. I am delighted to see ITU Members making steady progress to ensure a successful conference next year.”

The preparatory process for WRCs involves extensive studies and technical discussions among governments, regulatory authorities, network operators, and equipment suppliers, along with industry forums and spectrum users at the national, regional, and global levels.

The multi-stakeholder approach enables consensus-building, essential for each WRC to foster a stable, predictable, and universally applied regulatory environment.