GSMA Viewpoint

Band Plans

Identification of spectrum for international mobile telecommunications (IMT) in the ITU’s Radio Regulations is the starting point of a process that allows governments, IGOs and industry to produce affordable mobile broadband devices.

Once the spectrum is identified, governments can work together to produce harmonised band plans. Manufacturers then begin to develop equipment that will work with these band plans and mobile network operators determine how to build out their networks cost-effectively.

Agreement of a precise, harmonised band plan is a crucial component. To achieve the greatest economies of scale for manufacturers (as well as minimising costly and contentious issues of cross-border interference), governments need to agree on regional band plans, transcending national borders and creating region-wide markets for mobile devices. For the Digital Dividend allocation to mobile, two principal band plans are joined by a third US plan. When countries follow one of these plans, their citizens will be able to take advantage of the most affordable mobile devices.