APT harmonizes spectrum for public safety LTE

16 May 2017

The Asia Pacific Telecommunity's Wireless Group (APT-AWG) has unanimously agreed to harmonize the 700-MHz and 800-MHz bands for public safety broadband.

The body has endorsed a recommendation harmonizing the spectrum bands for LTE-based public protection and disaster relief (PPDR).

The recommendation was approved at the group's 21st meeting in Bangkok, and announced at At Critical Communications World in Hong Kong today.

Because the 700-MHz and 800-MHz bands are the two most commonly adopted public safety LTE bands in Asia, the APT-AWG has selected them to help meet the growing communications needs of public protection agencies and organisations for disaster relief and emergency response.

The decision is in line with the ITU resolution from 2015 encouraging administrations to use harmonized frequency ranges for public safety to the maximum extent possible.

"APT-AWG is committed to supporting standardised broadband for PPDR, for networks, devices and applications. PPDR systems have a critical role to play in effectively and efficiently satisfying local, national and international public safety objectives," APT-AWG task group on PPDR chair Bharat Bhatia said.

Asia is leading the world in the allocation of dedicated spectrum for public safety LTE, the group said. The first such allocation was in South Korea, where 10-MHz of paired spectrum was assigned for a public safety LTE network following a ferry disaster in 2014 that led to the loss of 304 lives.

Most ASEAN countries have also allocated 800-MHz spectrum for public safety LTE, including Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

India has meanwhile allocated 700-MHz spectrum for use by the defence services that operate the national disaster relief agency.

IHS predicts that the global critical communications LTE equipment market will grow at a CAGR of 20% between 2015 and 2020 to reach $2.6 billion.

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