Last week, I attended a joint WG3 and WG4 (communications and AIS) e-NAV subcommittee meeting to define e-Navigation communications.
In the past, we have called this ‘next generation AIS’ but now have all agreed that these communications are about much more than AIS and therefore calling this effort next generation AIS was misleading. We were given permission, by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to use six new channels (24, 84, 25, 85, 26 and 86), on an experimental basis, and channels 27 and 28 for additional AIS communications.
IALA membership will need to develop a plan for using the new channels and for moving binary and other non-safety related communications off of AIS 1 and 2 and on to the new channels 27 and 28.
We will need to have results to present at the next World Radio Conference (WRC) in 2015 with a final decision on allocation due from ITU at WRC 2018.
We went through all of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) e-NAV user requirements and cross referenced them to e-NAV communication solutions, thus taking the first step into defining how e-NAV will answer and solve user requirements identified by IMO.