Organisations from the mobile and broadcast sectors talked up their successes at the ITU’s World Radiocommunication Conference 2015, which identified new spectrum for mobile services as well as providing some stability for media companies.
In a statement, John Giusti, chief regulatory officer of the GSMA, said that the global harmonisation of three new spectrum bands for mobile services represents “a major step forward in meeting the growing demand from citizens worldwide for mobile broadband”.
Newly harmonised bands for mobile include C-band (3.4GHz-3.6GHz), which is suited for delivering capacity in urban areas; L-band (1427MHz-1518MHz), which is said to offer “an ideal blend of coverage and capacity capabilities”; and an extension of the 700MHz band (694MHz-790MHz) from Americas and APAC to global availability.
With regard to the 700MHz range, Giusti said: “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.”
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) welcomed the fact that UHF spectrum (470MHz-690MHz) will remain exclusively allocated to terrestrial TV services in the ITU’s Region 1 (including Europe, Africa, Russia, and parts of the Middle East) “well into the next decade”.
With calls to make the spectrum available for mobile services, the EBU said that the stability will “enable many countries in ITU Region 1 to continue with their digital switchover programmes without the risk of an impending change in use of the spectrum”.
The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union said that the same frequencies will “remain broadly allocated to terrestrial TV services in ITU Region 3 (APAC) well into the future”, with no region-wide mobile identification in the band.
The sub-700MHz band is available for mobile in markets in the Americas and several major markets within the Indian subcontinent announced an intention to use part of this band for mobile broadband.
GSMA regulatory head Giusti also noted the intention for the next WRC in 2019 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,” he said.