APAC needs more mobile broadband spectrum: GSMA

07 Aug 2015

The GSMA has expressed disappointment with APAC telecom regulators' decision to so far allocate only 51 MHz of additional spectrum for mobile broadband.

The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity, the organization of governments representing 38 APAC member countries and territories, identified spectrum in the final meeting of its conference preparatory group ahead of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15).

But GSMA chief regulatory officer John Giusti said the body is “disappointed” with the actions taken to date, noting that the extra spectrum earmarked represents an increase of less than 5% over the total spectrum currently identified in the region.

“The ITU estimates that governments need much more – double the amount of mobile spectrum available today – to meet the growing consumer demand for data,” he said.

“With 4G rising and 5G on the horizon, and without more spectrum identified, this means that Asia Pacific cannot benefit from economies of scale and affordable connectivity and puts the future of its digital economy at risk.”

He welcomed the decision to allocate a portion of the L-band for mobile broadband, but called on APAC nations to follow the lead of governments elsewhere and make more of the band available for mobile broadband.

India's mobile industry recently called on regulator DoT to free up L-band spectrum for mobile broadband use.

“We are also disappointed that the APG has decided not to make spectrum in the under-utilised 2.7-GHz to 2.9-GHz band available for mobile broadband in dense urban areas. Additional capacity spectrum in higher frequency bands is vital, particularly in those countries where the 2.7-GHz to 2.9GHz band is an important alternative to the C-band (3.4-GHz to 4.2-GHz).”

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