WP 6A - Geneva

The second annual meeting of working party 6A (WP 6A), whose activities encompass all matters associated to terrestrial broadcasting systems, took place on 18-26 October 2016 in Geneva.

The meeting was attended by 83 delegates from 30 administrations and 35 representatives from industry, universities and other organisations.

Regarding digital TV broadcasting, a highlight was the creation of a Correspondence Group to examine the validity of the methodology for gauging reception quality based on measurements of the modulation error ratio parameter described in a document submitted by working party 3K (WP 3K).

WP 6A will study the matter and present the results at the group’s next meeting in March 2017. At that time it hopes to be in condition to inform WP 3K about its conclusions.

Regarding protection, various contributions from working parties WP 1A and WP 1B were considered. They supplied information about the status of the studies on wireless power transmission (WPT) in accordance with the ITU question – ITU-R 210-3/1 – and on issue 9.16 of item 9.1 of the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19). Also taken into account were comments from other groups about the frequency bands and conditions envisaged for WPT use. WP 6A identified some aspects that have not been sufficiently considered to date and proposed an alternative approach that might help resolve those questions.

With respect to spectrum sharing matters, the most relevant topic was the proposed revision of the ITU Recommendation (ITU-R SM.1009-1) determining the criteria for compatibility between broadcasting service and aeronautic services, submitted by Germany and which counted support from Portugal.

The proposed revised recommendation had two main objectives: to introduce in the recommendation new digital technologies that have appeared in recent years in broadcasting service; and to use an alternative model developed/tested by Germany to analyse compatibility questions between FM and aeronautic services, given that in Germany there are currently some compatibility problems between those two services.

This was doubtless a very controversial document, as many administrations indicated they were against revision of the recommendation, basically because of the new method for calculating compatibility between FM and aeronautic services. It was decided that WP 1A, the group where the document originated, should again focus on this subject at its meeting this November. WP 6A will in turn study in detail all the parameters specified in the model proposed by Germany and will debate the matter at the group’s next meeting in March 2017.

Portugal maintained its support for Germany throughout the meeting, given that it was of the opinion that the appearance of new technologies entails an update of Recommendation SM 1009-1 to include compatibility calculations for the new digital technologies in audio broadcasting service.

The meeting was also marked by presentation of the new manual on digital terrestrial TV (DTT): implementation of networks and systems. This manual will be published soon and is meant to provide assistance on technical issues and those concerning the supply of services such as networks and systems, audiovisual and transmission quality, and on other matters of interest for the introduction of DTT broadcasts (from multimedia systems to ultra-high definition TV broadcasting) in various countries. The manual takes into account progress and convergence of technologies, different production environments, primary and secondary programme dissemination, and experience regarding the guarantee of quality of service for DTT emissions.

The next WP 6A meeting is scheduled for March 2017, also in Geneva.