GSMA sets out mobile industry's case for spectrum as WRC-15 gets underway

The GSMA has underlined what it deems to be critical spectrum requirements to support the future growth of mobile broadband services across the globe.

The association, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, presented its case as the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) got underway in Geneva.

The role of the conference, which runs from Nov. 2 to Nov. 27, is to review and, where applicable, revise the Radio Regulations, which is the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and the geostationary-satellite and non-geostationary-satellite orbits.

The GSMA emphasised that each country has a role to play at the treaty negotiations -- which are hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) -- by identifying additional globally harmonised spectrum to support next generation mobile services.

Alex Sinclair, acting director general and CTO of the GSMA, stressed that WRC-15 represents a turning point for the future of mobile.

"Governments have a unique opportunity to ensure we have the spectrum necessary to drive digital inclusion and foster a robust mobile economy over the coming decade," Sinclair said.

He added: "The time to act is now. As it can take up to 10 years from international identification of spectrum to network deployment, decisions made at WRC-15 will determine the availability of affordable, ubiquitous, high-speed mobile broadband services for years to come."

Based on ITU estimates, GSMA operator members agree that 600-800 MHz of additional spectrum needs to be identified globally for mobile broadband to meet projected consumer demand by 2020.

The GSMA added that WRC-15 is expected to move the 700 MHz band from a regional to a globally harmonised band. It also continues to call for increased support for a mobile allocation in the sub-700 MHz UHF band.

The association further noted that there is also nearly unanimous consensus for new globally harmonised spectrum for mobile in the L-band, starting at 1427 MHz, as well as growing momentum for allocating a portion of the C-band, starting at 3.4 GHz.

With regard to the C-band -- currently used for satellite services among others -- the GSMA has also presented a report that claims the use of additional C-band spectrum for mobile broadband in London and Shenzhen alone would generate an additional $440 million (€400 million) of economic benefit.

Plum Consulting developed the study, Use of C-Band Spectrum for Mobile Broadband in Cities: London and Shenzhen, with analysis from the GSMA and Huawei.

For more:
- see the GSMA C-band report
- see the GSMA release on WRC-15

Related articles:
Ofcom sets £70M reserve price for 2.3 and 3.4 GHz spectrum
EY: Operators cite 'disruptive competition' as leading industry challenge
France to kick off 700 MHz auction on Nov. 16
Arcep gives Orange go-ahead to test mm-wave frequencies for 5G
EU and China sign key partnership on 5G

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