London: John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA, reiterates the benefits of agreeing a co-primary allocation for mobile and broadcast in the sub-700MHz spectrum band at this month’s World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) in Geneva:
“The sub-700MHz UHF band (470-694MHz) could prove a critical tool for governments seeking to expand access to high quality, wide area coverage for mobile broadband services for their citizens, whether they live in dense urban areas or remote rural communities. Critically, as many governments seek to identify the band at WRC-15 for potential future use for mobile, it offers the opportunity for spectrum harmonisation, which would drive economies of scale and reduce the cost of devices for consumers around the world.
“Today, the UHF band is lightly used for terrestrial broadcasting in many countries. By implementing the latest technologies, these legacy services could be maintained in a smaller amount of spectrum, maximising the use of this valuable spectrum resource by allowing both mobile and broadcasting below 700MHz. Adding a co-primary allocation in the sub-700MHz band at WRC-15 would offer governments the flexibility to meet the changing needs of their citizens, who are increasingly accessing video content via ‘second screen’ mobile and tablet devices, and expand the well-established socio-economic benefits generated by mobile broadband.
“There is much misinformation being disseminated. To be clear, the GSMA is not advocating for an end to traditional broadcast television. Co-primary allocations to mobile and broadcast already exist in many parts of world, notably throughout the Asia Pacific region. There is no evidence that the existence of a co-primary allocation to mobile has had a negative impact on broadcast investment in the region. Indeed, investment should remain strong as long as there is belief in the market for broadcasters’ services and in the ability to reach citizens over the terrestrial broadcasting platform.
“In stark contrast, a ‘no change’ vote for the sub-700MHz UHF band at WRC-15 would put unnecessary constraints on the ability of governments to choose how best to meet the needs of their citizens over the coming decade. Taking into account the WRC cycle, it would likely not be until at least 2023 before governments could revisit allocations in the sub-700MHz band, with a further five to ten years before it would reach the public in the form of new and innovative services.
“As mobile data continues to grow at an exponential rate, we need to act now to safeguard the future of the mobile internet. The GSMA encourages governments at WRC-15 to support a co-primary allocation for mobile in the sub-700MHz band to ensure they have the flexibility to respond to the requirements of their markets and their citizens.”
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.
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