ICT: Members of the South-Asian Telecommunication Regulator’s Council (SATRC), policy makers and telecommunication regulators from other Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) members and executives from APT affiliate members are attending a workshop on Spectrum in Paro.

The workshop will discuss issues in the areas of spectrum management such as requirement of spectrum for mobile broadband, spectrum re-farming, non-ionizing radiation safety in the frequency bands used for mobile phones, spectrum sharing and other related topics.

Spectrum management is the process of regulating the use of radio frequencies to promote efficient use and gain a net social benefit.

It will also assist the SATRC members in their human resource development and provide an opportunity to exchange views and experiences among the SATRC members’ regulators and operators on the issues mentioned.

Secretary General of APT, Areewan Haorangsi, said the workshop serves as a platform for regulatory authorities from the region to discuss issues. She said the workshop is organised under SARTC’s capacity building initiative.

The chief guest, officiating information and communications secretary said it was important for governments to review and evaluate spectrum management in their respective countries and the region as a whole. With the increase in the use of mobile phones, the job of regulators has become challenging.

Officials hope that the workshop will enhance and build the capacity of telecommunications in the region. The region has seen tremendous development of telecommunications in the region and that the workshop will serve as a platform to share best practices among the regulatory bodies and is expected to come up with concrete recommendations for the regulatory bodies.

The SATRC workshop on spectrum is part of the implementation of SATRC Action Plan Phase V, which was adopted at the 15th SATRC meeting held in 2014 in Paro.

The workshop is planned for middle and high-level technical managers who are involved in the subject matters.

SATRC was formed in 1997 as an initiative of APT and ITU Regulatory Forum for South Asia. The SATRC is responsible for discussion and coordination of all the issues relating to regulations in telecommunications and ICT which are of common interest to the telecommunication regulators in South Asian countries.

These issues included radio frequency coordination, standards, regulatory trends and issues, strategies for telecommunication development and telecommunication related international affairs.

The council also identifies and promotes areas of potential cooperation in telecommunications among South Asian countries; and facilitates the exchange of information in these areas through activities such as seminars, training and workshop.

At present, SATRC consists of nine South Asian countries. The countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Affiliate members from those countries are also taking active participation in the council’s activity.

The SATRC meetings are being held annually to address common concerns and issues of importance.

The SATRC Action Plan (SAP) aims at addressing the regulatory issues and challenges of common concerns to its members that arise due to technological, and market dynamics, and innovations and developments in services in the field of information and communications so as to harness their full potential in a harmonious manner for the benefit of all by utilising the expertise and financial resources available from within its member countries.

The workshop is being held from April 19 to 21. The workshop is organised by the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) and hosted by the Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority (BICMA).

MB Subba | Paro