The GSMA WRC Series – getting ready for WRC-19

06 November 2018

To keep up with demands for higher speeds and better coverage mobile operators need more spectrum. Whether they get it or not, is in part based on decisions made at the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2019 (WRC-19). An event the GSMA WRC Series helps you get ready for.

The conference takes place every three to four years. The next one, WRC-19, will take place in 2019, from 28 October to 22 November. What happens there will have an impact on important issues such as rural broadband and the future of 5G.

Because the stakes are so high, it is important for everyone with an interest in the mobile industry to understand how the WRC process works.

To help, we are publishing the GSMA WRC Series, a family of collateral that covers areas such as spectrum for 5G, including the 3.5 GHz IMT range and Agenda Item 1.13 (AI 1.13) There is also an introductory guide to the whole process. Links to the reports can be found at the bottom of this page.

So why is the WRC important?

The WRC decides who gets to use what frequencies. The formal task is to review and update the international treaties or Radio Regulations that govern spectrum use. It also coordinates satellite orbits.

The WRC can be intimidating to outsiders. But connecting 5 billion people would not have been possible without it. The process has helped create economies of scale and make mobile services more affordable.

As always, getting involved is the best way to affect change. That is much better than standing on the sidelines, complaining when there is no coverage or the network isn’t fast enough.

For now, the GSMA WRC Series includes:

IMT Spectrum Between 24.25 and 86 GHz (Updated)

WRC-19 will be vital to realising the vision for 5G. The work at WRC-19 (centred around AI 1.13) will look at spectrum for mobile broadband in frequencies between 24.25 and 86 GHz.

Download the updated position paper in English here. There are also updated versions in French and Spanish. They are available here and here.

Enabling IMT at WRC-19 (New)

Just identifying new mmWave bands above 24 GHz for IMT at WRC-19 isn’t enough. There is a risk that unless only the optimal technical conditions are applied, IMT use of the bands will be severely restricted. This in turn will have a direct impact on 5G performance.

This document sets out the conditions needed to realise 5G’s full potential, across 26 GHz, 40 GHz and 66-71 GHz. It is available here.

26 GHz and 28 GHz are both needed for 5G (Updated)

In this infographic we take a look at countries and regions that are trialling and supporting  26 GHz and or 28 GHz. It also details bands plans and use cases.

An updated version of the infographic is available in English, French and Spanish.

Considerations for the 3.5 GHz IMT range 

Operators need new spectrum to keep up with growing mobile data and coverage demands. The 3.5 GHz IMT range offers an ideal opportunity to meet this demand. The band will be one of the first frequencies to carry 5G traffic, but first it must be licensed.

Download the report in English here, in French here and in Spanish here

An Introduction to the WRC process

This one helps people with no previous knowledge understand the WRC (World Radio Conference) process. How to influence and get involved in the very important preparatory work. As well as how to make the most of attending the conference.

Download the report here

L-band: The 1500 MHz IMT Range

The 1427-1518 MHz band was identified for use by IMT systems at WRC-15 on a global basis. It provides an ideal mix of coverage and capacity. Thanks to that, the range will form a vital part of mobile broadband networks when licensed. The updated version of the GSMA’s report takes a closer look at potential frequency arrangement options.

Download the report in English here, in French here and in Spanish here

Fair FSS Sharing – Safeguarding mobile growth 

The mobile industry is getting ready to launch 5G. It is an opportunity to create an agile, purpose-built network that offers significantly faster speeds. But it is vital all stakeholders work together to ensure 5G reaches its full potential. How spectrum is shared is a key part of that.

Download the report in English here and in French here

600 MHz for mobile broadband 

Here we take a closer look at the momentum behind 600 MHz for mobile broadband. A growing number of countries are getting behind using the spectrum to improve rural broadband coverage. A proposed band plan has opened the door for harmonising the range.

Download the report in English here, in French here, and in Spanish here

The ITU’s WRC-19 website can be found here

A key part of the WRC process is regional preparation. The ITU’s website for this work can be found here