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Michael KRÄMER, KPN/E-Plus
Contact: Klaus MOSCHNER, NGMN Office (office(at)ngmn.org)
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:
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
Phase 2: Post WRC-07 Activities and Preparation for WRC-12
Main deliverables in Phase 1 are:
The key deliverables for Phase 2 are:
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:
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:
450 – 470 MHz
790 – 862 MHz
Region 1 (Europe) and parts of Region 3 (Asia)
698 – 806 MHz
Region 2 (Americas) and some countries of Region 3 (Asia)
2.3 – 2.4 GHz
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.
NGMN developed updates of the NGMN White Paper on "Spectrum Requirements for the Next Generation of Mobile Networks" (2009 and 2011) 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 "Statement of the NGMN Alliance regards WRC-12" to promote the NGMN requirements for WRC-12.
Public NGMN Spectrum Deliverables available for download: