Michael KRÄMER, KPN/E-Plus

Contact: Klaus MOSCHNER, NGMN Office (office(at)ngmn.org)

Scope & Objectives

Spectrum is the blood of the mobile and wireless industry. But unfortunately spectrum is a limited and scarce resource that requires careful global, regional and national planning and regulation. Our past experience indicates that the timely availability of sufficient and suitable spectrum for mobile communications is a prerequisite to extending the benefits of mobile broadband to all people, and to furthering the global success story of mobile communications. To continue to offer benefits to the users and societies, the mobile communication industry requires continued availability of radio spectrum in sufficient quantity within suitable bands and arranged in a consistent and harmonised manner. This will facilitate global roaming and enable economies of scale that produce high cost efficiencies.

With its Spectrum activities, NGMN addresses all relevant aspects of spectrum for next generation mobile systems. Main objectives of the Spectrum project are:

  • To identify spectrum demand for next generation mobile systems considering global and different regional requirements;
  • To identify detailed requirements on spectrum for NGMN including aspects such as frequency range, channel bandwidths, duplex schemes, global/regional band plans, etc;
  • To perform lobbying towards global and regional frequency regulation bodies in order to emphasise and promote the spectrum requirements for NGMN.

These activities are carried through in close cooperation with other industry fora such as the GSM Association (GSMA) and the UMTS-Forum. As a matter of fact, many members participating in the NGMN Spectrum Activities are actively involved in spectrum management work within global and regional frequency regulation bodies (e.g. ITU, CEPT, CITEL, APT, etc), and within the spectrum management groups of the mentioned industry fora. With the objective to avoid duplication of work, NGMN provides a platform to align the mobile industry view on spectrum issues and to facilitate coordinated actions within the mentioned regulatory bodies and fora.

ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC)
Global and regional spectrum management for the coming decade is strongly determined by two major milestones, i.e. the quadrennial ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), which took place in October/November 2007 in Geneva (WRC-07) and will be followed by WRC-12 in January 2012. Main objective of WRC-07 was to revise and update the international treaty, known as Radio Regulations, governing the world-wide use of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. The frequency range which is of interest for “International Mobile Telecommunications” (IMT) is the range from 400 MHz to 5 GHz.

Recognising the great importance of WRC-07, NGMN organised its work regarding Spectrum in two phases:

Phase 1:  Preparation and Lobbying for WRC-07

  • To create an NGMN White Paper on the spectrum requirements for next generation mobile networks, with a particular focus on requests towards WRC-07;
  • To disseminate the NGMN Spectrum White Paper to global, regional, and national frequency regulation administrations and other industry fora;
  • To perform spectrum lobbying activities in the preparation phase for WRC-07 and during the WRC-07 conference in Geneva.

Phase 2:  Post WRC-07 Activities and Preparation for WRC-12

  • To develop NGMN positions on the new IMT bands as identified at WRC-07;
  • To identify requirements for global/regional band plans and channelling arrangements for the newly assigned spectrum, including the applicability of the bands for TDD and FDD;
  • To develop views on the long-term spectrum demand and requirements of NGMN in preparation of WRC-12;
  • To monitor activities on the Digital Dividend, especially in Europe, to determine whether subsequent NGMN activities on a global scale are required;
  • To monitor the IMT-Advanced standardisation process within the ITU, to determine to what extent NGMN should participate in the evaluation process;
  • To develop requirements on band plans for new IMT bands, and to evaluate the applicability for TDD/FDD;
  • To provide input to other NGMN projects with regards to spectrum issues.

Main Deliverables

Main deliverables in Phase 1 are:

  • NGMN White Paper on spectrum requirements for the next generation of mobile networks;
  • Publication of the NGMN Spectrum White Paper with suitable press releases;
  • Submission of the Spectrum White Paper to regional/national administrations and WRC-07 preparation groups (e.g. European Commission, CEPT, CITEL, APT, ARIB) and other industry fora;
  • Pre-conference lobbying and on-site lobbying at the WRC-07 conference in Geneva.


The key deliverables for Phase 2 are:

  • Update of NGMN White Paper on spectrum requirements for the next generation of mobile networks expanding the promoted needs detailed in the White Paper on "Spectrum Requirements for the Next Generation of Mobile Networks". The White Paper promotes the needs with regards to ongoing ITU-R work for spectrum channel arrangements;
  • Requirements for WRC-12, pre-conference lobbying for the WRC-12


Phase 1
The White Paper on Spectrum Requirements for the Next Generation of Mobile Networks was finalised in July 2007 and published with a world-wide NGMN Press Release. The main requests of NGMN towards WRC-07 and subsequent regional and national spectrum allocation processes are:

  • Allocation of the 470 to 806/862 MHz band (UHF) to the "Mobile Service" on a co-primary basis with the broadcasting service (in the context of the Digital Dividend);
  • Sufficient bandwidth for IMT within the UHF band in a harmonised manner to allow multiple full deployments of next generation mobile networks;
  • Contiguous harmonised bands for IMT between 1 GHz and 5 GHz to satisfy the demands of broadband multimedia applications that require channel bandwidths of up to approx. 100 MHz. Most likely candidate is the range 3.4 to 4.2 GHz.

In the preparation phase for WRC-07, the NGMN Spectrum White Paper was submitted to the European Commission, CEPT (Europe), CITEL (Americas), APT (Asia), and ARIB (Japan). On-site lobbying activities during WRC-07 in Geneva were carried through in close cooperation with GSMA (e.g. distribution of flyers and the Spectrum White Paper to WRC-07 delegates, sponsoring of a joint NGMN/GSMA Welcome Reception, etc).

Results from WRC-07
Under Agenda Item 1.4 "to consider frequency-related matters for the future development of IMT-2000 and systems beyond IMT-2000 …", WRC-07 has identified globally harmonised spectrum for use by International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced). Additional spectrum was allocated for IMT systems in various new bands, resulting in 392 MHz of new spectrum in total in Europe and 428 MHz in the Americas:

Spectrum Amount

Frequency Band


20 MHz

450 – 470 MHz


72 MHz

790 – 862 MHz

Region 1 (Europe) and parts of Region 3 (Asia)

108 MHz

698 – 806 MHz

Region 2 (Americas) and some countries of Region 3 (Asia)

100 MHz

2.3 – 2.4 GHz


200 MHz

3.4 – 3.6 GHz

No global allocation, but identified in 82 countries

Note: These bands will not be available immediately for NGMN usage, but opened to the market following transition periods of up to several years. Additionally, the allocations regarding the bands 790-862 MHz and 3.4-3.6 GHz in Region 1 will only come into full effect in 2015 and 2010 respectively.

New Spectrum Bands identified for IMT at WRC-07 (in Red)
New Spectrum Bands identified for IMT at WRC-07 (in Red)

Phase 2

NGMN developed updates of the NGMN White Paper on "Spectrum Requirements for the Next Generation of Mobile Networks" (Initiates file download2009 and Initiates file download2011) expanding the promoted needs detailed in this document. The White Paper Update documents promoted the needs with regards to ongoing ITU-R work for spectrum channel arrangements.

Furthermore, NGMN published and distributed a Initiates file download"Statement of the NGMN Alliance regards WRC-12" to promote the NGMN requirements for WRC-12.

Contact: Monika BINDER, NGMN Office (office(at)ngmn.org)