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The third meeting of International Telecommunication Union’s Radio communication (ITU-R) Joint Task Group will take place from 22 to 31 July 2013 at the East London International Convention Centre. The ITU (International Telecommunication Union) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies.

The Department of Communication (DoC), on behalf of South Africa and the African continent, will be hosting this meeting for approximately four hundred delegates from around the world, representing member states, sector member and academia.

Every three to four years, the ITU convenes a World Radio communication Conference (WRC), to revise the international Radio Regulations, an important international treaty that governs the use of the radio frequency spectrum and orbital slots. The Radio Regulations also provide for the allocation of frequency bands to radio communication services and set technical and regulatory conditions to promote interference free operations for radio equipment.

The last World Radio Conference (WRC-12) took place in Geneva, Switzerland in 2012 and the next one will be held in Geneva in November 2015. The ITU-R Joint Task Group forms a part of the preparatory meetings leading up to the next World Radio Conference.

“This meeting presents South Africa with the opportunity to champion and influence decisions relating to spectrum requirements for broadband. Further to that the hosting of the joint task group will encourage greater participation from South Africa and from African continent.” Gift Buthelezi, Deputy Director General for ICT International Affairs and Trade in the Department of Communications.

The ELICC team is looking forward to hosting a conference of this size and stature. The venue has been preparing for weeks and some of these preparations including making the conference as paperless as possible (in keeping with environmentally responsible practices), said Eugene Oelofse, marketing manager of Premier Hotels and Resorts, which manages the ELICC. “The ELICC will be meeting both the accommodation and conferencing needs of the delegation.”