Global radio experts have approved radio standards that are to usher in a new mobile phone operating system to replace third generation or 3G technology, the International Telecommunication Union announced on Friday.
The newly-adopted "IMT Advanced Spectrum" would result in faster and better quality mobile services, said Francois Rancy, director of the ITU's radiocommunication bureau.
Rancy addressed media on the closing day of the organisation's Radiocommunication Assembly in Geneva.
"Many of the (current) global standards are (previous) recommendations adopted at the Radiocommunication Assembly," noted Rancy, citing one adapted about 10 years ago for what is known as "3G" spectrum.
"Many of the smart phones you have in your pockets now are an important result," of recommendations such as those regarding 3G, Rancy said.
"The IMT Advanced spectrum adopted this week provides a step forward in terms of quality and speed for mobile services," he added.
Alan Jamieson, chairman of the Radiocommunication Assembly, said many of its recommendations will now be discussed at the ITU's World Radiocommunication Conference, which opens here on Monday.
"It is very important to the ITU and the member states and even more important to users," he said referring to the new standard.
"It won't occur overnight, but it will occur. It will take time to make its way through," to manufacturers and users, Jamieson said.
He said they expected to provide a "substantial level of improvement" in performance and the bandwidth needed to provide fast services.
Some phone providers have dubbed the new standard "4G".
"The term 4G remains undefined, but it is being applied by operators to the forerunners of IMT-Advanced technologies" and to others evolving from 3G systems, the ITU said in a statement.
The World Meteorological Organization warned however that increased pressure on the use of radio spectrum could hamper its observation work.
"Weather forecasts, disaster warnings and climate monitoring are all critically dependent on radio frequency bands which are used around the clock by meteorological services," the WMO said in a statement.
"Increasing pressure on the use of radio spectrum from wireless technology and other applications could hamper earth observations and efforts to understand and predict climate change."
ITU officials are expecting 150 countries and 3,300 delegates at the WRC, which runs from January 23 to February 17.
Explore further: Cognitive radio technology optimises use of scarce spectrum