Wladimir Bocquet, Senior Director Global Spectrum Policy, GSMA is taking part in a panel discussion entitled: “Highlighting the availability and assignment of 2014’s spectrum bands”, taking place on Day One of the LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Ahead of the event we find out more about the GSMA’s work in making the best use of spectrum and free up new resources to improve mobile broadband throughout the world.
What role do you play at the GSMA in ensuring that there is greater spectrum harmonisation?
We encourage national administrations around the world to license commonly-used, harmonised mobile spectrum in order to establish a wide range of affordable mobile devices and equipment that can be used worldwide. Not only does this broaden access to mobile broadband services by reducing the cost of equipment, it also reduces international interference and facilitates roaming. We also work with the international regulatory community to establish vital new mobile bands to meet future data demand – again, with a view to establishing harmonised spectrum worldwide. The industry is currently in the middle of this hugely important task which will conclude at the ITU’s World Radiocommunication Conference next year.
To what extent does spectrum fragmentation remains an issue for LTE deployments around the world?
Spectrum fragmentation for mobile broadband is a concern. We encourage regulators to adopt an adequate number of popular LTE bands so they can maximise the benefits of harmonisation. In the coming years the 700MHz digital dividend band could become a powerful near-global LTE band. The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity’s 700MHz band plan is gaining such traction across Asia and Latin America that Europe, the Middle East and Africa looks set to adopt a compatible approach creating a widely harmonised band.
How do you balance the desire of large operators for greater control of band plans and the need to create economies of scale?
It is in the best interests of operators to work together with one another and regulators to establish internationally agreed band plans. It is only through this process that large equipment markets can be established and therefore the cost of devices and services reduced.
What are your views on new approaches such as use of white spaces?
The white space approach cannot replace the urgent need to secure additional, exclusive and harmonised spectrum for mobile broadband. A spectrum-use database cannot guarantee predictable quality of service or even spectrum availability. Furthermore, using white space without interfering with primary users in adjacent bands is a real challenge. Instead, the guard bands, which comprise most white space, should be replaced by other interference mitigation techniques to minimise the loss of usable spectrum.
With serious 5G discussion starting to take place will greater frequency harmonisation form an integral part of any new standard?
Harmonised spectrum is, and will remain, an essential component of any mobile technology including 5G – whatever that turns out to be. As always, the use of harmonised spectrum will keep equipment costs down, enabling these new networks to be rapidly rolled out and enjoy quick consumer take-up.
The 10th annual LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.