US$440 Million Would be Generated in London and Shenzhen Alone

Hong Kong – The use of additional C-band spectrum for mobile broadband in London and Shenzhen alone will generate an additional US$440 million (€400 million) of economic benefit whilst protecting the continued operation of incumbent services, according to a new report from the GSMA1. The study, “Use of C-Band Spectrum for Mobile Broadband in Cities: London and Shenzhen”, developed by Plum Consulting with analysis from the GSMA and Huawei2, focuses on the impact of mobile operations in the C-band in London and Shenzhen.

The report findings were presented today at the Global Mobile Broadband Forum in Hong Kong, which coincides with the start of the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) in Geneva. WRC-15 will be pivotal in determining future spectrum allocations for mobile broadband and C-band spectrum, which is under consideration at the Conference, will be key to meeting future data demand.

The report highlights an urgent need for regulators across the globe to address the allocation of spectrum required to meet the huge growth in mobile data traffic, especially in densely populated urban areas. C-band spectrum can provide large contiguous channels that support the delivery of high data rate services such as video.

Mobile data traffic continues to grow rapidly around the world.  According to Ofcom, monthly usage per active connection in the UK has risen by 50 per cent every year for the past three years and was over 0.5 gigabytes by June 2014. This puts a conservative estimate of total data traffic in London at 7 petabytes per month. Over the next 15 years, Plum expects average annual growth in mobile data traffic in London to be 35 per cent and this is expected to grow at a similar rate in Shenzhen up to 2030.

The report shows that use of C-band spectrum for mobile broadband can be achieved through the development of sharing techniques to allow mobile services to co-exist with other users of the band, such as satellite and fixed link services. Plum’s study and other independent studies3 show that C-band small cells can successfully co-exist with satellite services, provided that an exclusion zone of a 5-kilometre radius is established around the satellite installations. Similar provisions can be made to ensure the protection of continued operation of fixed link and point to multipoint services that use the band.

“Administrations around the world should make available larger amounts of contiguous spectrum to meet the demand for high speed connectivity in more densely populated environments. C-Band discussions during the WRC-15 offer a unique opportunity which should not be missed,” said David Wang, President, Huawei Wireless Networks. “This joint report highlights the substantial social and economic benefits associated with mobile broadband use of the C-Band on a shared basis with existing services.”

“C-band spectrum will better enable operators to provide consumers with high-speed mobile broadband in city centres,” said Alasdair Grant, Head of Asia, GSMA. “We urge governments to seize the opportunity at WRC-15 and allocate this critical spectrum to safeguard the future of the mobile internet and deliver its undoubted benefits to citizens worldwide.”

To access the report, please visit:


Notes to Editors
1 Economic benefits are based on the avoided infrastructure costs achieved by the availability of addition spectrum to support mobile broadband services. These are derived by considering the infrastructure requirements necessary to support traffic demand without the C-band spectrum and difference in infrastructure costs when C-band spectrum is available.

2 Huawei was a knowledge partner for this report, contributing direct access to its global market analysis, its research and developments and engineering teams and aggregated network data from its customer services.

3 Transfinite have produced a number of reports for the GSMA that show that outdoor small cell and FSS receivers should be able to operate with a separation distance which is terrain-dependent but of the order of 5 kilometres.

About Huawei
Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Through our dedication to customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, we have established end-to-end advantages in telecom networks, devices and cloud computing. We are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers by providing competitive solutions and services. Our products and solutions have been deployed in over 140 countries, serving more than one-third of the world’s population. For more information, visit Huawei online:

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.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA

About Plum
Plum offers strategy, policy and regulatory advice on telecoms, spectrum, online, and audio-visual media issues. We draw on economics and radio spectrum engineering, our knowledge of the sector and our clients’ perspectives to shape and respond to our clients’ issues. We strive to be clear and concise. We go beyond analysis and through communication and collaboration we offer an approach that positions integrity and creativity at the forefront. For more information, visit Plum online:

Media Contacts

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Ava Lau, Weber Shandwick Hong Kong
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GSMA Press Office
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For Plum
Tony Lavender or Tim Miller
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