Several countries recently have proposed or instituted changes or announced developments with respect to Amateur Radio regulation.
- In China, according to the Chinese Radio Amateurs Club (CRAC), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in Beijing has announced that radio amateurs will gain access to a 60-meter band starting on July 1. The latest edition of PRC Radio Frequency Division Regulations — released on April 18, World Amateur Radio Day — indicates that radio amateurs in China have been allocated the band 5351.5 – 5366.5 kHz on a secondary basis, and in accordance with the decisions made at World Radiocommunication Conference 2015.
- The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced that it’s in the process of granting licenses “to qualified persons/companies who are interested in Amateur Radio services and Amateur Satellite services for the purposes of noncommercial exchange of messages, intercommunication, self-training, private recreation, wireless experimentation, technical investigations, etc.” The NCC proposes that licensees must by 18 or older, “be technically competent to operate Amateur Radio Station in line with ITU-R M.1544-1, which covers the basic skills required of an amateur operator,” and pass written and Morse code tests. Three license classes are proposed: Novice, General, and Advanced. The NCC proposes a modest, non-refundable application plus a “frequency fee” of approximately $28 for all applicants.
- India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has released Amateur Radio license figures for 2017. The DoT Annual Report show that 628 new licenses were issued, a record number. The report also notes that 2,594 candidates took the Amateur Radio exam, the discrepancy suggesting the difficulty in getting the government to issue new license, according to Jose Jacob, VU2JOS, of the National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR), who pulled statistics from the report. His tally indicates 3,730 new licenses were issued in the past 10 years, and 4,905 were renewed. “The licensing system in the Republic of India has always been very bureaucratic,” Jacob said. “The form-filling exercise involves supplying height, eye color, occupation and details of your father (but not your mother!). In addition, applicants have to go through police checks to prove they are a suitable person to hold a license.” This has meant delays of up to 2 years before a license is granted.
- Norway’s Communications Authority (Nkom) is proposing changes to its Amateur Radio regulations, such as allowing 1 kW output at VHF/UHF for Earth-Moon-Earth or meteor scatter operation. The limit for the VHF/UHF bands has been 100 or 300 W. Also proposed is the addition of a maximum allowed power for transmissions from model aircraft, remote-controlled helicopters, or drones of 10 mW EIRP in the 2300 – 2450 MHz band, and of 25 mW EIRP in the 5650 – 5670 MHz band.
- Indonesia has adopted a system of online Amateur Radio exams and licensing. The government telecommunications regulator has described the move to e-licensing as “a form of paradigm shift [that] shows the government’s commitment to provide easy, fast, and transparent services.” Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, YD2JKW, holds a General class license, while its Vice President Jusuf Kalla, YC8HYK, is an Advanced class licensee.
- Thailand’s regulatory authority, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), has given temporary expanded operating permission during contests. Described as “throughout the 80-meter band and on 6 meters,” the privileges cover 14 weekend operating events. Intermediate and Advanced licensees will be allowed to operate on 3.6 – 3.9 MHz during eight international events, and on 50 – 54 MHz during six VHF weekend events. The “temporary approval” extends through 2018. Previously, Thai hams have been limited to 3.5 – 3.6 MHz on 80, while 6 meters was entirely off limits –Thanks to The Daily DX, Southgate Amateur Radio News
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