Harmonisation for mobile growth

Monday, 19 May, 2008

International harmonisation of radio spectrum will be a key factor in the continual growth of global telecommunications and deliver substantial benefits to Australian users, the RadComms08 conference on spectrum management was told earlier this month.

Ericsson highlighted the fact that while wireless broadband is expanding rapidly and delivering a wide range of economic and social benefits, its full potential for growth will depend on the availability of globally harmonised spectrum.

Spectrum harmonisation refers to the allocation of spectrum for common services across multiple markets.

According to Ericsson and Ovum research, wireless broadband will comprise two thirds of all global broadband subscriptions by 2012, said Kursten Leins, strategic marketing manager multimedia, Ericsson Australia.

For the benefits of mobile broadband to be sustained into the future, more spectrum will ultimately be required to provide ever increasing speeds and network capacity.

Spectrum needs to be globally harmonised to enable economics of scale to create a mass market that makes broadband affordable for everyone.

According to Leins, the globally harmonised 2.5 GHz spectrum band will provide future capacity for high-speed mobile broadband services, with peak speeds of more than 100 Mbps, as well as far greater capacity than there is in today's network for many concurrent users.

Australia's relatively small market size means that it must adopt spectrum allocation principles that are harmnonised with larger markets, benefitting from lower end-user costs for services and devices due to economies of scale, said Leins.

Already today, mobile broadband provides access for enterprises and business users when on the move, both within Australia and abroad.

Auctions for the 2.3 GHz spectrum have now started in Europe and in Asia. In Sweden, the winners of the 2.5 GHz spectrum auction will shortly be announced — the world's first auction to license according to the harmonised band arrangement decision by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT).

Auctions of the 2.5 GHz band in Austria, Netherlands, Italy and Britain are scheduled for 2008.

The 2.50–2.69 GHz band is the largest new spectrum resource available for mobile broadband services in the foreseeable future. It is large enough to allow multiple operators to deploy technologies using wide channels, such as the 2 x 20 MHz channels preferred for next-generation LTE (long-term evolution) technology.


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