Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka

International Framework

As the number of radio communication services increases, radio spectrum is congested heavily both within national borders and internationally. Operating more radio stations in the same band will raise the probability of harmful interference nationally and internationally.

Management of Spectrum, in case of long range radio communications in air and international waters such as aeronautical and maritime communications, is much more complicated and sensitive task compared to short range national terrestrial communication services. The co-ordination and harmonization of spectrum utilization around national borders is therefore critical.

The regulation of spectrum use on a global basis is a core responsibility of the Radio Communication Sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The mission of the Radio Communication Sector( ITU-R) is to ensure  efficient, equitable, rational, and economical use of the radio frequency spectrum by all radio communication services, including use of satellite orbits and to conduct  studies and adopt recommendations on radio communication matters.

The ITU holds the international World Radio communication Conferences (WRC) normally held every three years .The WRC is the highest international body regulating the use of the radio spectrum. The WRC decisions form the international Radio Regulations that specify the allocation of frequencies to different forms of radio services) and conditions for deployment. The Radio Regulations are appended to the ITU Convention which has ITU treaty status. The Radio Regulations are revised by WRCs time to time

The spectrum bands allocations contained in the National Frequency Allocation Table (NFAT) of ITU member countries including Sri Lanka are derived from the international frequency allocations of Article 5 of the ITU Radio Regulations normally held every three years.

As a treaty signatory, the TRCSL takes an active role in the ITU-R in order to ensure that international policies are consistent with country’s radio communication regulatory frameworks that our national interests are adequately protected.

The objectives and obligations of international cooperation are to:

  • Develop proposals and prepare for WRCs  at the national, regional (APT) and global (ITU) levels;
  • Participate effectively in ITU-R  activities concerning , spectrum sharing studies, frequency co-ordination,  Radio communications equipment standardization and radio wave propagation etc.;
  • Participate actively in other spectrum management related international forums with neighbouring countries, at the regional level APT) and at the international level (ICAO, IMO and WTO);
  • Ensure that international obligations arising from the ITU Radio Regulations are effected such as frequency co-ordination, notification and orbital positions, etc.;
  • Frequency assignments capable of causing interference to/ requiring protection from, the stations of other administrations, has to be coordinated with the administration concerned;
  • Advance publication process of ITU for space radio communication systems have to be monitored in order to identify at an early stage whether frequency co-ordination should be commenced with the notifying administration.