GSMA applauds WRC outcome, looks to 5G future

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The GSMA has hailed the outcome of the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) as a "major step forward" for the telco industry, after it identified three bands for mobile broadband use.

Chief Regulatory Officer John Giusti said the harmonisation of 200MHz of the C-Band, which sits between 3.4 and 3.6GHz, would help to meet capacity demands in urban areas. He said the L Band, which is 1427-1518MHz, would balance the needs of coverage and capacity.

He reiterated his support for the decision to expand the 700MHz band for global use. Earlier this week, the ITU, which runs the WRC, said the band could be used by operators outside of Asia Pacific and the Americas.

Giusti said: “We welcome the decisions taken at WRC-15 to identify critical new spectrum to secure the future of the mobile internet. After weeks of intense treaty negotiations, governments agreed three new globally harmonised spectrum bands, representing a major step forward in meeting the growing demand from citizens worldwide for mobile broadband.

"Global harmonisation of spectrum bands through the WRC process is key to driving the economies of scale needed to deliver low-cost, ubiquitous mobile broadband to consumers around the globe."

He said a particular boon was the exploration of sub-700MHz spectrum for mobile broadband use. According to Giusti, the growing shift towards consumers watching video on their mobiles meant telcos had a greater need of the spectrum compared to broadcasters. 

He added: "Allowing both mobile and broadcasting in the band gives these governments the ability to respond to the changing needs of their citizens."

The GSMA will now turn its attention to the next World Radiocommunication Conference, which will take place in 2019. The GSMA will focus on high-frequency bands above 24GHz to support 5G, Giusti said.

"This is a critical first stage in the journey towards a new wave of mobile innovation, considerably faster than existing technologies and driving a hyper-connected society in which mobile will play an ever more important role in people’s lives.”