5th Global Shortwave Coordination Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The High Frequency Coordination Conference (HFCC), the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) and the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU-HFC) will hold a global shortwave co-ordination conference at the Hilton Petaling Jaya Hotel, Kuala Lumpur from 4th to 8th February 2008. The conference is hosted by VT Communications from the United Kingdom, on behalf of the HFCC, with assistance from the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.
Shortwave broadcasting has a unique position in that the radio channels used by international stations are not assigned, but regularly co-ordinated for two seasons each year. All attempts to plan frequencies for broadcasting since the discovery of the shortwave spectrum in the 1920s failed and conditions for reception were near chaotic almost throughout the entire twentieth century. This has changed in the last decade and a system is now in place designed for an efficient and economical use of the spectrum and the improvement of reception of shortwave broadcasting world-wide.
Co-ordination methods were started by broadcasters with support from the broadcasting unions. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU). set up a special task group that studied the emerging co-ordination procedures in the 1990s and concluded that the system should become an integral part of shortwave spectrum management. The principles were incorporated in Article 12 of the International Radio Regulations in 1997.
At present a single global seasonal database of frequency requirements is kept by the secretariat of the High Frequency Co-ordination Conference for each of the two seasons of the year. There is an on-line upload application available and all participants are requested to update any frequency changes between seasonal conferences. The application and automatic processing software notifies all participants, not only on the entered changes, but also on the possible collisions or incompatibilities that may have resulted from the submissions.
A completely new database of frequency requirements for the broadcasting season from March 30th to October 26th 2008 will be on the agenda of the Kuala Lumpur Conference. During that week, the delegates will try to resolve many of the potential interference problems likely to affect shortwave transmissions in the "A08" joint global broadcasting schedule. This means that listeners will be able to tune into their favourite shortwave radio station with a substantially reduced number of cases of mutual interference.