Update on the threats on 2m amateur band

The CEPT meeting is over. Reading the minutes of the meeting raises more questions than answers.

There is lot of discussion about the future of the 23cm amateur band and cohabitation with Galileo. Yet I cannot tell if all this is good or bad for amateurs.

There is only one paragraph about the french proposal to take over the 2m amateur band. This is the input of the IARU representative.

The representative of the IARU stated that, the IARU views with grave concern the element of the WRC-23 agenda item proposal 1.6 in the AI10 ECP, on studies towards a possible new allocation to the aeronautical mobile service in the band 144-146 MHz. This band is an important and the only globally harmonised primary allocation to the amateur and amateur satellite services in the VHF range. Examination of the RR below and above the 144-146 MHz range suggests that alternative proposals could be developed that could provide further spectrum for the aeronautical applications without impacting on this amateur service spectrum. The proposal provides no justification for addressing this band and the IARU believes that sharing with airborne systems is likely to be difficult and will lead to constraints on the development of the amateur and amateur satellite services in this band.

Yep that’s it… No information whether the proposal will be put on the WRC23 agenda or not. The only ray of hope I see is the following sentence : “Examination of the RR below and above the 144-146 MHz range suggests that alternative proposals could be developed that could provide further spectrum for the aeronautical applications without impacting on this amateur service spectrum”. However, this does not tell us if alternate proposals have been made or not.

Another document lists all the meeting attendees. Just looking at the french attendees, out of 13 attendees 6 are representatives of corporates! Out of 6 corporate representative attendees, 4 are from Thales. My interpretation is that Thales is really putting pressure on the CEPT to get what they want. In the list below the corporate representatives are marked in red.

  • 6 France Eric Allaix Meteo France
  • 7 France Mohamed Benseddik THALES ALENIA SPACE
  • 8 France Thibaut Caillet ANFR
  • 9 France Hugues De Bailliencourt AIRBUS
  • 10 France Emmanuel Faussurier ANFR
  • 11 France Benoit Louvet Thales Alenia Space
  • 12 France Ivan Martin THALES Communication
  • 13 France Christine Mengelle Thales Alenia Space
  • 14 France yves piriou ANFR
  • 15 France Jean Pla Centre national d’études
  • 16 France Rodolphe Quemerais Ministry of Armies / DGN
  • 17 France Philippe Tristant EUMETNET/ESA/EUME
  • 18 France Halina Uryga Orange

Two persons are of interests: Mr Mohamed Benseddik and Mr Ivan Martin both gentlemen are in charge of regulatory topics at Thales.

Googling for the name Ivan Martin brings up an old document where, somewhere around 2012, Thales was already crying for frequencies for their drones, but there is no mention of amateur VHF band.

So what? I do not know what I should think… At the time I am writing this (June 22nd 2019) There is also no feedback on the IARU website. Maybe we should monitor here if some more documents popup.

Wait and see…

UPDATE: The Radio Society of Great Britain makes following statement on their website.

However, regarding new aeronautical frequencies including 144MHz, the proposal was unfortunately not strongly opposed by other administrations; this has been carried forward to the higher level CEPT-CPG meeting in August.

So the topic will be re-discussed at CEPT level in august, it looks like the war has just started.

UPDATE 2:  IARU has made a statement on their website


  1. Well oppose it they have other bands why 2m when the could go higher freq orveven use the mobile business band as the take up reducing.

    • Geoffrey F4FXL

      The 144-146Mhz band is allocated worldwide to amateurs it is easier to kick one group of users out than dozens of different users.

  2. I have been licensed since 1973. I have enjoyed
    It. In 1983 we had a flood here in Baton Rouge,
    Louisiana. I monitored 2 meters in our emergency
    Operation center while other hams rode with national
    Guard trucks who were evacuating people from
    Flooded homes. I would relay info from the 911
    Center to the hams on the trucks.
    This is just one example of the Value of 2 meters.

    • Geoffrey F4FXL

      Thanks for your input.
      Yep, 2m is the ideal tactical band. Antennas are still compact and the range is good independently of rural or urban area.

  3. Dear Geoffrey F4FXL, thank you for information.
    What about a petition? I see that Avaaz platform has bees used by hams in the past. Lets spread words and links everywhere in all bands even in PSK31, RTTY etc..
    What do you think?

  4. Geoffrey F4FXL

    Hi Francesco,

    A petition is a good idea but should this be global one or one per country?

  5. I disagree with this ” it is easier to kick one group of users out than dozens of different users.” The worldwide amateurs out number the “dozens” which makes it harder to just kick them off. To many radios with 144-146Mhz band in the world of amateurs to have control over. There will be backlash and retaliation if this happen. The question here, is the CEPT ready to put up a fight with all worldwide amateurs?

    • Geoffrey F4FXL

      Thanks for your comment. We are not talking about the amount of users, but the amount of different type of users that need to be kicked out.

  6. The aero band has just changed to 8.33 KHz channels spacing here in Europe, tripling the available channels. How much more is needed??

    • They don’t want drone operators that do not have pilot training to use the same channels as commercial heavy airliners do for probably obvious reasons.

  7. How about contacting manufacturers of radio equipment, the likes of Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu and others. Personally, I don’t think they will kick us out of the 2m band. There are so many organizations worldwide using amateur radio has a backup emergency communication provider. There are too many repeaters spread across the world space

    • Likely we will be allowed to keep using it but with restrictions of power on a shared primary or even secondary basis if this goes through. Suggested power limits would be a few hundred mW.

      The problem with drones is they can fly very high up and that causes their radio signals to be heard over a very large area. This why the band is ideal for Thales because it is already harmonized in the entire world.

      Any other band would be restricted in some contries, not in others, require harmonization and a process that can take decades to complete.

      That is why the 2M band 144-146 MHz is so attractive to these guys, they do not need to harmonize it.

      • I would think there will be a lot of hams that will make a point of jamming any transmission that they think are from or to drones.
        I am sure many are not going to consign expensive equipment to the rubbish and walk away.

  8. So France has been infiltrated by corporations intent on taking over everything….I wonder who is getting paid off…. why only 1 country objected….time to counter this …. and 23 cm as well….

  9. Innanzi tutto cerchiamo di usare i 2 metri facciamoci sentire presenti e non solo in contest…invadiamo i 144 MHz….ma i nostri rappresentanti che ci stanno a fare?73 U.R.I. UNIONE RADIOAMATORI ITALIANI

  10. Pbill pearson

    Sadly as we we dont pay a licence fee anymore there is not much can be done. I would think that the London radio club (RSGB) would be there putting our case forward. After all it was them that pushed to remove the Morse test allowing class B on to hf leaving 2 meters empty. Fingers crossed

  11. Pingback: Is Thales authoring official resolution on behalf of administration ? | | F4FXL

  12. Groups all over the world have spent thousands of our own dollars to build up 2 meters in repeaters alone.we pay lic. Fees also.what have you invested nothing. We have earned the right too 2 meter an paid for it to.Leave us alone.

    • Not everything in life must necessarily be sold or purchased. There are things that belong to the existential dimension and are important to humanity. Amateur radio deserves a different respect. The amateur radio community is always present in emergency situations, loves experimentation and has many specialists who play important roles in industries and in various scientific fields.

  13. Amature radio both on 2 mtrs,70cm ( local) & Hf SSB has all but nearly died in NewZealand,in this part of the world many thousands of miles away from the rest of the world.Probagation problems,and other interferance as well as silent keys and simply loss of interest now that coms can be done over computers.There are only a “die hard” few that manage to still keep this hobby going,and when ever I put a call out or tune into our frequencies on 2 mtrs etc or the HF airwaves,they are silent other than electrical or atmospheric interferance on HF.

  14. Wolfgang Hahn

    Living in France with the “big” license, I wonder how “motivating” it would be for radio amateurs in France starting to learn for the “small” license that does not even allow them to use the 70cm band! Should 2m have to be abandoned, nothing would be left for them on VHF/UHF.
    We cannot allow an individual company destroy our resources!

    The change.org-campaign has already led > 20.000 Hams to sign. Many of them are living in other areas of the world. The probability that Thales would not only (try and) “conquer” CEPT and the IARU-R1, but even -R2 and R3, currently seems to be low.
    However, if – for instance – Thales can find “alliances” in the US, the situation may change, and several Far East countries are supporting US-positions.
    China, however, would surely oppose to the killing of the 2m-band for Hams!

    I suggest to increasingly use the 2m-band – in SSB, FM, RBATV, RTTY, SSTV,
    APRS, PSK31, FT8 and whatever mode we are able to use.

    –> we need to show presence – otherwise, the Bodies may have a “good” argument to say “well, they don’t use it, hence, they don’t need it”…

    vy 55 es 73 de F1VAM

    es 99 for Thales!

    • Guten Tag Wolfgang,

      The small license (class 3) has been dropped in France 2 years ago. Only one license class remains. and yes we have to use the bands ! Go out make some RF noise !

      • Wolfgang Hahn

        Thanks, Geoffrey. I ought to be have been aware of that…
        Yet, there are surely other countries in which holders of novice-licenses would significantly suffer.

  15. Change hobby dude!Catch some fish and eat eco, HI!!!

  16. EME EME EME and SATELLITES 144 MHz – 146 MHz !!!!

  17. All? Countries Amateur Radio Societies abandoned the requirement for Morse to access the HF band, and in doing so many thousand of operators abandoned the VHF and UHF band, so we as operators have only our self to blame.The HF bands of late have been also dead, part due to propagation and operators, looking at band condition web sites and not bothering to put out a CQ, and turning off, when they could go to VHF/UHF for a local rag chew, so sad……. So it comes down to USE it or LOOSE IT……………..

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