The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) identified just 51MHz of additional spectrum, an increase of less than 5 per cent over the total spectrum identified as required for the region, ahead of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) in November.
Commenting on the outcome of the APT’s conference preparatory group meeting in Seoul, John Giusti, GSMA’s deputy chief regulatory officer, said the association is “disappointed” with the APT’s decision to identify only 51MHz of additional spectrum for mobile broadband at WRC-15.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that governments need double the amount of mobile spectrum available today to meet the growing consumer demand for data.
While the GSMA is pleased that the group identified a portion of the L-band for mobile broadband, Giusti encouraged Asia-Pacific countries to follow the lead of governments in Africa, the Americas and Europe to make more of the L-band spectrum (1427-1518MHz) available for mobile broadband during WRC-15.
He noted that the GSMA is also disappointed that the group has decided not to make spectrum in the under-utilised 2.7-2.9GHz band available for mobile broadband in dense urban areas. Additional capacity spectrum in higher frequency bands is vital, particularly in those countries where the 2.7-2.9GHz band is an important alternative to the C-band (3.4-4.2GHz).
“With 4G rising and 5G on the horizon, and without more spectrum identified, this means that Asia Pacific cannot benefit from economies of scale and affordable connectivity and puts the future of its digital economy at risk,” Giusti warned.
“It is vital that we find additional spectrum for future use by mobile broadband in the Asia-Pacific region to meet the increasing mobile data needs of consumers and businesses in the years ahead.”
He went on to say the GSMA will continue to work with governments in the region to ensure that their citizens are not left behind, further exploring options for supporting more sub-700MHz, L-band, 2.7-2.9GHz and C-band spectrum at the WRC-15.
Asia Pacific is home to 1.8 billion unique subscribers and nearly 3.8 billion mobile connections, accounting for half of the world’s unique subscribers and connections, according to GSMA Intelligence.