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International radiocommunications

We work with the Australian, regional and international community on the management of radiofrequency spectrum to enhance policy and regulatory certainty and to develop technology standards that underpin affordable communications technologies. This cooperation helps us to use radio spectrum efficiently, promotes our national interests and supports continued innovation in communications technologies that depend on spectrum.

Multi-stakeholder participation is central to effective international engagement on radiocommunications. Australian radiocommunication experts are actively involved in Australia's international radiocommunications engagement, including representatives of:

  • major wireless telecommunications providers
  • equipment manufacturers
  • satellite telecommunications providers and technology companies
  • land transport companies
  • broadcast media providers
  • defence, aviation and maritime sectors
  • meteorological, radio astronomy and scientific sectors
  • spectrum engineers and regulators.

Australian expert groups meet regularly to discuss spectrum and satellite regulatory issues and work on domestic, regional and international technical studies for a range of technologies. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) provides expert technical and regulatory advice to the Department and leads Australia's engagement in technical radiocommunication forums.

Further information on Australia's preparatory groups and engagement in international radiocommunications forums is available in the participation guidelines. If you are interested in joining Australia's preparatory groups, please review the guidelines and contact us at WRC@communications.gov.au.

International forums

We lead Australia's participation in key radiocommunication policy forums including the World Radiocommunication Conference, the Radiocommunication Assembly, and the APT Conference Preparatory Group for the WRC.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies. The ITU's World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) meets every four years to agree changes to the treaty-level Radio Regulations which govern the use of radiofrequency spectrum and satellite orbits. In the lead up to each WRC, the ITU holds meetings to prepare technical studies into potential regulatory changes. Regional telecommunication organisations such as the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) also hold regular meetings to prepare regional positions on issues on the agenda for WRC.

The last World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) took place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from 28 October to 22 November 2019. The Final Acts of WRC-19 contain numerous changes to the Radio Regulations that are expected to support continuing development and roll out of communication services such as 5G, intelligent transport systems, and Wi-Fi on planes and ships via satellites.

The next WRC is scheduled for 2023 (WRC-23) with 30 agenda items under consideration. If you have an interest in any item on the WRC-23 agenda, or would like to be involved in the development of Australia's positions on WRC-23 agenda items, please review the participation guidelines and contact us at WRC@communications.gov.au.

Australia's preliminary positions on the WRC-23 agenda items can be found below.

Australian preliminary positions on WRC-23 agenda items

Published 12th Apr 2021

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Agenda items for WRC-23.

Participation in Australia's domestic and international radiocommunications groups: Guidelines (form)

Published 12th Apr 2021

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International cooperation on radiocommunications promotes enabling conditions, including policy and regulatory certainty and interoperable international technology standards, for the rational and efficient use of Australia's sovereign assets in the radio spectrum and national interests in orbital satellite positions.

World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 agenda items

Published 17th Jun 2020

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June 2020 World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 agenda items—in detail (all WRC-19 Resolutions referenced are available in the Final Acts of WRC-19). The Administrative Circular mentioned in this document can be found via www.itu.int/md/R00-CA-CIR-0251/en.