“This is a critical first stage in the journey towards a new wave of mobile innovation”
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) has resulted in additional spectrum being allocated for next generation mobile services.
After weeks of intense treaty negotiations, governments agreed three new globally harmonised spectrum bands, representing a major step forward in meeting the growing demand from citizens worldwide for mobile broadband.
John Giusti, chief regulatory officer, GSMA, commented on the outcome: “We welcome the decisions taken at WRC-15 to identify critical new spectrum to secure the future of the mobile internet. Global harmonisation of spectrum bands through the WRC process is key to driving the economies of scale needed to deliver low cost, ubiquitous mobile broadband to consumers around the globe.
The spectrum now to be made available for mobile is 200MHz of the C-band (3.4-3.6GHz), L-band (1427-1518MHz), and the 700MHz band (694-790MHz) plus the sub-700MHz band (610-694/698MHz).
Stated Giusti: “The GSMA applauds the strong support from governments in all regions for the global harmonisation of 200MHz of the C-band (3.4-3.6GHz) to meet capacity requirements in urban areas. We are also pleased by the decision to globally harmonise the L-band (1427-1518MHz), a mid-frequency band that provides an ideal blend of coverage and capacity capabilities.
“WRC-15 also took the decision to expand the 700MHz band (694-790MHz) from a regionally harmonised band in the Americas and Asia Pacific to a global one. By now making this spectrum available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, governments have taken an important step in improving the reach of critical mobile broadband services,” he continued.
“The GSMA particularly commends the vision shown by many countries seeking the flexibility to use the sub-700MHz band (especially 610-694/698MHz) for mobile broadband. Not only can legacy television services in the band be delivered far more efficiently using less spectrum, but the reality is that consumer habits are evolving as video content is increasingly accessed via mobile devices. Allowing both mobile and broadcasting in the band gives these governments the ability to respond to the changing needs of their citizens,” he said.
The sub-700MHz band is now available for mobile in markets covering more than half the population of the Americas and, in addition, several major markets within the Indian subcontinent announced their intention to use part of this band for mobile broadband.
Giusti concluded: “This WRC-15 decision represents a significant milestone in building momentum towards global harmonisation. Looking further into the future, we acknowledge the agreement at WRC-15 for a new agenda item for WRC-19 to identify high-frequency bands above 24GHz for 5G mobile services. This is a critical first stage in the journey towards a new wave of mobile innovation, considerably faster than existing technologies and driving a hyper-connected society in which mobile will play an ever more important role in people’s lives.”