ITU considers new mobile spectrum bands to manage data growth

International governments agree to look at new bands for mobile broadband

The International Telecommunication Union has met to discuss the potential of putting forward a number of new mobile spectrum bands to deal with the exponential growth in data traffic.

At the Geneva meeting, governments across the globe agreed to put forward for detailed discussion a number of new spectrum bands for use by mobile broadband services.

However, a final decision will not be taken until the World Radiocommunication Conference in November 2015.

The GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, welcomed the news that the full range of new spectrum bands supported by the mobile industry will remain potential solutions to meet the growing demand for mobile data.

According to a GSMA statement, extensive technical analysis had been carried out by governments, industry and international organisations to support the allocation of new spectrum for mobile broadband services.

"New, harmonised spectrum is vital to ensure that mobile networks can cope with the exponential growth in data traffic that we are witnessing today and for the future delivery of affordable and ubiquitous mobile broadband coverage," it said.

“Importantly, the rapid expansion of mobile technology is transforming economic opportunity around the world.

Today, the mobile industry generates, directly and indirectly, 3.6 per cent of global GDP (equivalent to US $2.4 trillion) and 10.5 million jobs. This contribution is expected to rise to 5.1 per cent of GDP and 15.4 million jobs by 2020, according to GSMA.

“The decisions made at the WRC in 2015 will have a direct impact on the ability of all the world’s citizens to benefit from access to the Internet," the GSMA stated.

"As mobile will be the way that the Internet is accessed for the majority of those currently unconnected, the allocation of new spectrum for the mobile Internet is therefore critical.”

Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities.

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Tags The International Telecommunication UnionGSMAgeneva meetingWorld Radiocommunication Conferencespectrum bandsmobile broadband services

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