What is the Master International Frequency Register and Why is it Important to the Space Economy?

The Master International Frequency Register (MIFR) is an essential tool managed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to ensure the efficient allocation and coordination of radio frequencies globally. This article provides an overview of the MIFR, its purpose, structure, and the process of registering frequency assignments.

Purpose of the MIFR

The primary purpose of the MIFR is to facilitate the global coordination of radio frequency assignments to avoid harmful interference among different communication systems. By maintaining a centralized database of frequency assignments, the ITU can efficiently allocate and coordinate the use of the radio spectrum for various services such as satellite communication, terrestrial broadcasting, and mobile communication.

Structure of the MIFR

The MIFR consists of two main components:

  • Terrestrial Services Database: This database contains information on frequency assignments for terrestrial services, such as broadcasting, fixed, and mobile services. The terrestrial services database includes details on the assigned frequencies, transmitter locations, and technical parameters, among other data.
  • Space Services Database: This database contains information on frequency assignments for space services, including satellite communication, Earth exploration, and space research services. The space services database includes details on the assigned frequencies, orbital parameters, and technical characteristics of the satellites and their respective earth stations.

Process of Registering Frequency Assignments

The process of registering frequency assignments in the MIFR involves the following steps:

  1. Submission of Frequency Assignment Notification: ITU member states or their authorized organizations are required to submit a notification of a new frequency assignment to the ITU. This notification includes technical details of the planned communication system, such as frequency bands, transmitter locations, and orbital parameters (for space services).
  2. ITU Examination and Coordination: The ITU examines the submitted frequency assignment notification to ensure compliance with the ITU Radio Regulations and initiates the coordination process. During this process, the ITU may request additional information from the notifying administration or suggest modifications to the planned frequency assignment to prevent harmful interference with other registered services.
  3. Publication in the ITU Weekly Circular: The ITU publishes the details of the submitted frequency assignment notification in the Weekly Circular. This publication allows other ITU member states and organizations to review the proposed frequency assignment and raise any concerns or objections they may have.
  4. Resolution of Concerns and Objections: If any objections are raised during the coordination process, the ITU facilitates discussions among the involved parties to resolve the issues and reach a mutually acceptable solution.
  5. Registration in the MIFR: Once the coordination process is completed, and no objections remain unresolved, the ITU registers the frequency assignment in the MIFR. The registered frequency assignment is now considered internationally recognized and protected from harmful interference.

MIFR is an Essential Part of the Space Economy

The MIFR is an essential tool in ensuring the efficient and coordinated use of the radio spectrum globally. By maintaining a centralized record of frequency assignments for both terrestrial and space services, the ITU plays a key role in preventing harmful interference and promoting the sustainable development of communication systems worldwide. As the demand for radio frequency resources continues to grow, the MIFR will remain an essential instrument in the global management of the radio spectrum.

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