International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun Touré is urging countries to move now to avoid mobile broadband bottlenecks associated with the explosive growth of services. Accelerated fiber rollouts and greater spectrum availability will be key solutions, he said.
"Mobile operators have been investing billions to upgrade and improve the capacity and performance of their networks, but in some high-usage cities, such as San Francisco, New York and London, we are still seeing users frustrated by chronic problems of network unavailability," Touré said. "Robust national broadband plans that promote extra spectrum and the faster roll-out of the fiber networks which are essential to mobile backhaul are vital to support the growing number of data-intensive applications."
The ITU's own research shows that 98 countries have National Broadband Plans in place, with this number set to increase during the next year. The ITU estimates that the number of mobile broadband subscriptions will reach 1 billion in the first quarter of 2011.
As such, the ITU's next World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) in January 2012 should prove to be a vital meeting. Operators in Europe and the U.S. have already started pushing for increased spectrum for mobile broadband services along with harmonized spectrum allocations.
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