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ITU Radiocomms assembly sets 6G agenda


Members chart course for IMT-2030 and sustainable use of spectrum and orbital resources

The ITU Radiocommunication Assembly 2023 (RA-23) has adopted a resolution that will guide the development of standards and radio interface technologies for the 6th generation of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) systems.

Among other outcomes, RA-23 has also adopted a resolution on gender equality to strengthen, accelerate and widen the active involvement of women in the work of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R).

“The work of the Radiocommunication Assembly helps us shape how we live together in our interconnected world,” said ITU secretary-general Doreen Bogdan-Martin. “The outcomes of this meeting ensure a promising future for ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector and, through the groundbreaking resolution on gender equality, for women in the radiocommunications field.”

Discussion highlights during the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-23) included an agreement on IMT-2030 as the technical reference for the 6th generation of International Mobile Telecommunications. There was also a revision of ITU-R Resolution 65, paving the way for studies on the compatibility of current regulations with potential 6th generation IMT radio interface technologies for 2030 and beyond.

The assembly adopted the new Recommendation ITU-R M. 2160 on the IMT-2030 Framework setting the basis for the development of IMT-2030. The next phase will be the definition of relevant requirements and evaluation criteria for potential radio interface technologies (RIT).

They also adopted a new resolution on space sustainability to facilitate the long-term sustainable use of radio-frequency spectrum and associated satellite orbit resources used by space services. This will support further cooperation with other United Nations organisations and benefit the satellite industry.

Other business included the conclusion of a new ITU-R Recommendation on the protection of the radio navigation-satellite service and amateur satellite services; and a revision of Resolution ITU-R 8-3 to promote the participation of engineers and scientists from developing countries in propagation campaigns in tropical and subtropical regions of the world for which there is limited data monitoring.

"This Radiocommunication Assembly has achieved significant accomplishments and the outcomes will establish the framework for the activities of the ITU Radiocommunication Study Groups in the upcoming four-year study period,” said Mario Maniewicz, director of ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau. "We have set the stage for the development of new technologies with the potential to deliver better capacity and coverage everywhere, bridging the digital divide, as well as providing possible solutions to the challenges and impacts they will have on our lives.”

Promoting gender equity

The adoption of the gender resolution was called for by the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference’s “Declaration on Promoting Gender Equality, Equity and Parity in the ITU Radiocommunication Sector.”

The resolution calls on the ITU Radiocommunication Sector to strengthen and accelerate all efforts to ensure that its policies, work programmes, information dissemination activities, publications, study groups, seminars, courses, assemblies and conferences reflect the commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

With Australia’s Carol Wilson serving as the first woman to chair an ITU Radiocommunication Assembly, the resolution further calls on ITU Member States to support the inclusion of women in all aspects and levels of ITU‑R activities and to undertake a variety of specific actions to promote and increase the interest of, and opportunities for, women and girls in STEM fields, particularly in electrical engineering and computer science.

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