GSMA disappointed by lack of progress in mobile broadband spectrum allocation in APAC

GSMAAhead of World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15), GSMA has expressed its disappointment at the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity’s Conference Preparatory Group (APG) decision to identify only 51MHz of additional spectrum for mobile broadband.

“This represents an increase of less than five per cent over the total amount of spectrum currently identified for the region. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that governments need much more – double the amount of mobile spectrum available today – to meet the growing consumer demand for data,” said John Giusti, Deputy Chief Regulatory Officer of GSMA.

“With 4G rising and 5G on the horizon, and without more spectrum identified, this means that Asia Pacific cannot benefit from economies of scale and affordable connectivity and puts the future of its digital economy at risk,” he added.

He pointed out that it was vital to find additional spectrum for future use by mobile broadband in the Asia Pacific region to meet the increasing mobile data needs of consumers and businesses in the years ahead.

According to GSMA Intelligence, in the first quarter of 2015, Asia Pacific was home to 1.8 billion unique subscribers and nearly 3.8 billion connections, accounting for half of the world’s unique subscribers and connections. As the region is also expected to grow at a faster pace than the rest of the world, with 600 million new subscribers anticipated by 2020, it is critical that governments identify more spectrum for mobile now to meet this future demand.

GSMA will continue to work with governments in the region to ensure that their citizens are not left behind, further exploring options for supporting more sub-700MHz, L-band, 2.7-2.9GHz and C-band spectrum at the WRC-15.

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