The ITU Regional Radiocommunication Conference, RRC-04/06, was convened on the initiative of CEPT Administrations to update the Stockholm 1961 Agreement in order to facilitate the rapid introduction of digital broadcasting in Europe.
During consultations carried out by ITU Secretary General in 2000/2001 an overwhelming majority of the countries of the European Broadcasting Area indicated their support for the proposed revision of ST61. In addition, Member States from the planning area of the Regional Agreement for VHF/UHF television broadcasting (GE89) in the African Broadcasting Area (ABA) and neighbouring countries also expressed the wish to convene an RRC for the same purposes.
The ITU Council, at its sessions in 2001 and 2002, adopted Resolutions 1185 and 1180, by which it agreed to the convening of a Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC) on the planning of terrestrial broadcasting in the VHF/UHF bands, for the combined planning area covering the European Broadcasting Area (EBA), the African Broadcasting Area, and the countries outside the African Broadcasting Area which are parties to the Regional Broadcasting Agreement, Geneva, 1989.
The Plenipotentiary Conference, Marrakesh, 2002, also considered this issue and decided to extend the planning area to the territories of the following countries that are not or only partially covered by the planning areas of both the ST61 and GE89 Agreements: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation (the part of the territory to the west from longitude 170° E), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (see Resolution 117 (Marrakesh, 2002)).
In summary, the planning area comprises those parts of Region 1 that are situated west of the meridian 170° East and north of the parallel 40° South, as well as the whole territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The RRC planning area.
The ITU Council has also invited the ITU-R Study Groups and the Special Committee on Regulatory and Procedural Matters “to carry out, as a matter of urgency, the relevant technical, operational and regulatory studies and to prepare a report for submission to the first session of the RRC”.
In response the Study Group 6 of the ITU has set up a Task Group 6/8 to carry out necessary studies to prepare for the Conference. The outcome was included in the ITU-R Report to the first session.
The Conference was held in two sessions:
The first session
, held in Geneva from 10 to 28 May 2004, to establish the technical basis for the work of the second session of the RRC, including the necessary bases to facilitate planning exercises prior to the second session of the RRC and the form in which the requirements of administrations should be submitted.
The second session
, held in Geneva from 15 May to 16 June 2006 to establish the new agreement and associated frequency plan(s) for terrestrial digital broadcasting in the frequency bands 174 to 230 MHz and 470 to 862 MHz. Two ‘small’ conferences took place in parallel with the second session of the RRC to revise ST61
and Ge89, respectively.
In the period between the two sessions (intersessional period) a number of activities had to be carried out including the development of necessary planning software, development of national requirements, carrying out planning exercises and establishing a complete set of planning parameters.
The new Regional Agreement GE06 will come into force on 17 June 2007, with the provisional application as of 17 June 2006.
The associated Ge06 Plan comprises two parts; one containing analogue TV assignments transferred from the relevant parts of ST61 and GE89 Plans and the other containing allotments and assignments of digital broadcasting service (DVB-T and T-DAB). In addition, there is a list of assignments to other primary services that have to be protected in the implementation of the digital broadcasting services.
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