Countries agree on new mobile spectrum at radio conference

Feb 17, 2012
The International Telecommunication Union said its World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-12) has agreed a treaty aimed at revising the radio frequency spectrum to speed up mobile services.

The International Telecommunication Union said Friday its World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-12) has agreed a treaty aimed at revising the radio frequency spectrum to speed up mobile services.

The increased spectrum will allow easier and cheaper global broadband expansion and will replace the current third generation or 3G technology for more than one billion mobile telephone users, said the ITU.

The European Broadcasting Union expressed concerns about the new arrangements leading to the opening up of more spectrum but a global group representing mobile phone operators and and the United States welcomed them.

"We believe WRC-12 has been very successful," Decker Anstrom, the head of the US delegation to the conference, said in a telepress conference on Thursday just before the four-week meeting ended.

"US objectives were largely realised."

But the EBU, representing 85 public broadcasters in 56 countries, warned that its own new approach to spectrum management was at risk from the WRC-12 decision.

"We think this could cause considerable disruption and loss of services for millions of viewers," EBU communications manager Michelle Roverelli told AFP.

She said this week the approved a five-year policy programme.

Due to pressure from African and Arab regional administrations, delegates to WRC-12 decided to look at allocating the 700MHz band (694-790 MHz) to mobile services, the EBU said.

"This decision could cause considerable problems in Europe, where the 700MHz band is heavily used for terrestrial broadcasting with, in many cases, long-term licensing arrangements in place," said Roverelli.

Terrestrial services do not use satellite transmission or cables, normally using .

ITU General Secretary Hamadoun Toure said, "WRC-12 has helped to define new and better ways to regulate radio services and applications."

"It represents a major contribution in making the world a better place for all," he said as the conference attended by 165 of the ITU member countries was ending.

WRC-12 chairman Tariq al-Awadhi described the negotiations as "sometimes difficult", but added, "we have arrived at consensus that will shape the way we communicate in the future."

After the members of the ITU, which represents 193 countries, signed the treaty on Friday, officials said the new broadband spectrum could come on stream in 2015 after approval at WRC-15.

Francois Rancy, director of the ITU's radiocommunication bureau, said the treaty "is good for consumers and it is good for operators," because increased spectrum costs are cheaper.

The GSMA, representing global mobile operators, said on its website the governments at the WRC-12 "have recognised the critical role that spectrum plays in bringing the enabling power of mobile broadband to citizens globally."

"Many countries have recognised the need to secure the future of mobile broadband and along with our members we stand committed to the success of the ITU's work," said Anne Bouverot, director general of the GSMA.

"By taking action now to secure more spectrum, mobile operators will be better positioned to meet the data needs of billions of consumers well into the future.

International allocations are made only through WRC meetings and treaty negotiations take place every three to four years.

Explore further: 4.5 million smartphones were lost or stolen in US in 2013

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User comments : 2

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verkle
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2012
This is great progress in aligning bands across countries. Phone usage will become cheaper, and become more roamable across continents. Bravo!

Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (1) Feb 23, 2012
I wish they would do that in Australia, one often has the situation where Telstra has coverage over say Jurien Bay but if you are with vodaphone then no coverage - in the interests of care for customers all region providers should allow roaming across each others networks with some verbal or sms indication you are not in your primary service provider area and allow choice, in the short term they get more income and in the long term they are appreciated more for their care - this might also improve their income long term by demonstration of their maturity...

Free will can only come from complete and full education, our free will is hampered by the lack of education of the public to demand this option because of puerile and one-dimensional competitive practices between the carriers - time to write to more members of parliament I believe, there is faith my attention and deliberated communication may result in change as we know for sure by now there is no static in human behaviour ;-)

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