Switzerland’s Digital Dividend Decision Adds to Mobile Broadband Momentum

The GSMA, the global trade body for the mobile industry, applauded Switzerland’s decision to allocate part of the digital dividend* spectrum to mobile broadband services. The Swiss government said use of this spectrum will enable excellent mobile broadband coverage of rural areas while offering good penetration into buildings. As radio waves travel long distances in the low-frequency bands, using this spectrum enables operators to provide mobile broadband coverage far more cost-effectively than in the high frequency bands.

Following the decision of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2007 to identify the 790-862 MHz frequency band for mobile services in European and African countries, the Finnish, French, Swedish and Swiss governments have now decided to allocate this band for mobile broadband services. The growing support among European governments for the provision of mobile broadband services using this spectrum will further encourage equipment makers to develop handsets and base stations for this frequency band, strengthening Europe’s role as a leader in the global mobile market.

“It is vitally important that other European governments follow in the footsteps of these four pioneering countries and also commit this spectrum band to mobile broadband services, “said Tom Phillips, Chief Government & Regulatory Affairs Officer of the GSMA. “Harmonisation of spectrum across countries provides manufacturers with the economies of scale necessary to drive down the price of mobile devices and network equipment and makes it easier for people to continue using their handsets and laptops while traveling abroad. The extraordinary global success of GSM is partly due to the harmonized allocation of spectrum by European governments.”

Notes to Editors
*The switchover to digital television will release so-called Ultra High Frequency (UHF) spectrum in the 470MHz to 806/862 MHz band, in which radio waves can travel further and deeper within buildings than is the case in existing mobile spectrum bands. These characteristics would help operators to achieve much broader and more cost-effective mobile broadband coverage, particularly in rural areas.

For more information please see: www.gsma.com/spectrum/band-overview/digital-dividend/

About the GSMA:
The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade group representing more than 750 GSM mobile operators across 218 countries and territories of the world. The Association’s members represent more than 3 billion GSM and 3GSM connections – over 86% of the world’s mobile phone connections. In addition, more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association’s initiatives.

The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers. For more information, visit: www.gsma.com

For further information contact:
GSM Association
Mark Smith / David Pringle
Email: press@gsm.org