WRC-19 Day-19: 50 MHz Approved!

| November 21, 2019

WRC-19 has approved an allocation in the 50 MHz band for amateurs in Region 1 at its morning plenary in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Thursday 21 November 2019.

The decision comes after more than three weeks of strenuous negotiations to reconcile widely disparate views of Region 1 administrations. The result is a dramatic improvement in the international Radio Regulations for amateurs in Region 1. Prior to WRC-19 there had been no ITU frequency allocation for Region-1 apart from those named in ITU footnote 5.169 for Africa and some national usage. The new situation is summarised below:-


  • The amateur service now has a ‘baseline’ secondary allocation of 50-52 MHz in the main ITU allocation table for Region 1.
  • A total of 44 named Region 1 countries will now have a primary allocation in all or part of the 50-54 MHz band, including…
  • 14 CEPT countries – which will have a 500 kHz primary allocation in the 50.0-50.5 MHz band, as part of their overall 50-52 MHz allocation,  a major improvement for amateurs in Europe.
  • 26 African and Middle East Countries who will have the full 50-54 MHz range on a Primary basis
  • Primary allocations thus see a significant expansion in Africa and the Middle East (see map below)
  • The Russian Federation has opted for a smaller but very welcome 200 kHz secondary allocation in the 50.08-50.28 MHz band.
  • African countries with previous primary allocations under footnote RR5.169 retain their current status in the 50-54 MHz frequency band.

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Notes:  The Final Acts of WRC-19 should enter into force on 1 January 2021, however administrations may make provisions to provide 50 MHz spectrum at an earlier or later date.

As an example of the improvements, a quickly prepared map by RSGB below shows the expansion of Primary allocations in Africa and the Middle East as well as areas requiring protection:-

WRC-19: 50 MHz in Africa and the Middle East

Map Shading key:

  • Cyan: 50-54 MHz Primary prior to WRC-19 via footnote RR5.169
  • Green: New Primary Countries (mainly 50-54 MHz)
  • Red: Countries where protection from amateur cross border emissions is required
  • Grey: 50-52 MHz secondary as per new Region-1 default


For the CEPT area the picture looks like this:-

WRC-19: Primary for 14 Countries in Europe

Map Shading key:

  • Default: 50-52 MHz secondary as per new ITU Region-1 table
  • Green: Countries with ITU alternative status of Primary in 50.0-50.5 MHz
  • Note-1: Russia is 50.08-50.28 MHz secondary only and requires 6dB(uV) protection
  • Note-2: The primaries include Cyprus and the Vatican which may not show up unless zoomed




Category: Front Page News, GB2RS, WRC-19