Why spectrum matters

This blog post was written by Brett Tarnutzer, GSMA Head of Spectrum

The importance of spectrum to mobile systems, and therefore to our lives, cannot be understated. To increase awareness of key spectrum issues, the GSMA’s spectrum team is launching a blog and a newsletter. Our releases will cover all the areas we are passionate about, from how to make spectrum available in ways that support many different government initiatives, business communications and society as a whole to new cutting-edge spectrum management approaches.

We are doing this to help shed light on the broad range of work we already do to further the effective use of spectrum resources; from reports to position papers, capacity building and events and to get your input on what matters most to you.

As we enter the 5G era, mobile operator access to additional spectrum is vital. Additional spectrum is central to expanding and upgrading mobile broadband services to connect the unconnected and to expand the services offered to those who are already connected. It is core to 5G’s success.

The potential of mobile will stand and fall with governments and regulators making the right decisions individually and collectively. These decisions include ensuring operators have access to sufficient spectrum in a timely manner; providing support for new network investments; and avoiding costly restrictions on spectrum use.

How to best manage mobile spectrum can seem like a tricky business. In many ways it is, but getting it right will lead to big benefits for consumers and the economy. Getting it wrong is not an option. So it is important everyone has a basic understanding of how it works.

To help, we have produced three booklets: “Introducing Radio Spectrum”, “Introducing Spectrum Management” and “The Spectrum Policy Dictionary.”
While they offer only a high-level introduction, the booklets are a handy reference point for all.

The GSMA supports the global spectrum work carried out by and within the ITU. The ins and outs of making spectrum available, including the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) process, can be intimidating to outsiders. But we believe connecting 5 billion people to the power of mobile telecommunications would not have been possible without it. While the work that happens largely behind the scenes, it has helped create manufacturing economies of scale that continue to make mobile services more and more affordable.

Understanding the importance of spectrum to the mobile ecosystem is the first step toward affecting positive change and we plan to use the newsletter and our series of handbooks to help you stay informed and to help show you how you can get involved.

Sign up for the newsletter here

Download the “Introducing radio spectrum” handbook;
The “Introducing spectrum management” handbook;
And finally, “The spectrum policy dictionary”.