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Future Spectrum Need for Mobile Broadband

The future of mobile depends on mobile operators having timely and reasonable access to the necessary spectrum resource. Estimates of mobile data demand have always proven too conservative, believes mobile industry association GSMA.

It says data growth by 2010 had exceeded earlier International Telecommunications Union (ITU) forecasts by over five times. Today there are more than 1.7 billion IMT connections around the world, and by 2015 this number will more than double to over 3.6 billion as mobile technology grows exponentially.

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The GSMA announced Friday, Feb. 17, that governments representing more than 150 countries attending the World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12) n Geneva have recognised the critical role that spectrum plays in bringing the enabling power of Mobile Broadband to citizens globally.

Following this recognition, the ITU has committed to identifying additional spectrum requirements for the deployment of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) Mobile Broadband globally, ensuring that future spectrum allocation is on the agenda at WRC-15.

IMT is a family of technology standards as defined by the ITU. Technologies compliant under IMT include: EDGE, CDMA2000, UMTS (WCDMA, TD-CDMA, TD-SCDMA), DECT, WiMAX and LTE. IMT will operate in worldwide radio frequency bands as identified in the ITU’s Radio Regulations.

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The ITU will soon launch an intensive multi-year work programme to study options for additional IMT spectrum that will be presented and discussed at WRC-15.

“The GSMA is extremely pleased that many countries have recognised the need to secure the future of Mobile Broadband and along with our members we stand committed to the success of the ITU’s work,” said Anne Bouverot, director general of the GSMA. “By taking action now to secure more spectrum, mobile operators will be better positioned to meet the mobile data needs of billions of consumers well into the future.”

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Mobile connectivity is also believed to be a key driver of economic improvement – the World Bank estimates that a ten per cent increase in Mobile Broadband penetration can boost GDP by 0.6 per cent in developed countries, 0.81 per cent in developing countries, and as much as 1.4 per cent in some low income countries.

Photo courtesy: GSMA

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