WORLD-WIDE CONSENSUS ON ADDITIONAL SPECTRUM FOR 3RD GENERATION IMT-2000
IS ANOTHER GIANT LEAP FORWARD FOR EVERYONES MOBILE FUTURE
June 1st 2000: The promise of tomorrows global information society
has taken a major step forward with the successful identification
of additional radio spectrum to support the rapid rollout of "third
generation" (3G) UMTS/IMT-2000 mobile communications services for all
the worlds regions.
The historic announcement - finally approved at the WRC 2000
plenary - was made at the conclusion of the month-long WRC-2000
(World Radiocommunication Conference) meeting in Istanbul after four
weeks of intense work by spectrum administrators representing every
government. Representatives of the UMTS Forums Spectrum Aspects Group
(SAG) provided support and expert inputs to the Conference, following
four years involvement in this uniquely important and complex project.
The Inter-governmental Conference reached a global consensus
to identify additional bands for the terrestrial component of
UMTS/IMT-2000. Crucially, as well as providing additional capacity
to support the future mass market for mobile multimedia services -
calculated by the UMTS Forum to approach 2 billion users within the
next decade - this result also paves the way for the introduction of
3G services even in regions where the core spectrum has not hitherto
been available for IMT-2000. This means that mobile users will be able
to access their personal information services using affordable handheld
terminals wherever they travel. The additional terrestrial bands agreed
by WRC2000 for IMT-2000 cover three alternative areas of spectrum to
complement the IMT-2000 core bands (1885 - 2025 and 2110 - 2200 MHz)
identified by a previous Conference in 1992. The new bands are:
All of these three bands meet the UMTS Forums call for 160 MHz of
global additional spectrum that is required to support the forecast
growth of traffic and services that will outstrip the capacity of the
present IMT-2000 core band in many markets before the end of this decade.
This 160 MHz of additional spectrum in every ITU Region was calculated
on the basis of traffic forecasts and the existing available mobile
bands for 2nd and 3rd generation services.
This groundbreaking news comes at a time when the UMTS licensing process
is rapidly progressing in many countries throughout Asia and Europe
in order to commence commercial services by 2001/2002. More than 100
licenses are to be awarded to operators of high-capacity UMTS mobile
multimedia services within the next 12-18 months.
Each government will make their own decision on the choice and timescale
for making these additional bands available for IMT-2000 use. Factors
influencing the availability of these additional frequencies include the
local market demand for 3rd generation services and economic factors
such as the stage of development of present 2nd generation networks.
Some existing operators may also wish to consider migrating their networks
to IMT-2000 in order to offer the benefits of lower costs and high-speed
packet data services up to 2Mbit/s and beyond.
The decision on extension band spectrum follows an earlier milestone
of equal importance reached last month when the ITU Radiocommunication
Assembly unanimously approved the formal adoption of the first release
of IMT-2000 radio interface specifications.
UMTS Forum Chairman Dr Bernd Eylert said today of the decision:
"The UMTS Forum wishes to congratulate the ITU and to thank all its
members for this successful result. Its an incredible milestone in the
development of tomorrows mobile networks, and a fantastic result for
the entire global mobile industry which is represented by the membership
of the UMTS Forum - the worlds largest pan-industry group dedicated to
3G mobile matters."
Dr Eylert continued: "This decision is particularly welcome as it
provides a solid basis for the regional introduction of 3G services,
even in territories that were effectively blocked from the benefits
of 3G in the past because of limited spectrum. The stage is now set for
UMTS/IMT-2000 to deliver on its exciting promise of immense socio-economic
benefits for all the worlds mobile users. The UMTS Forum will continue
its work in this very important field to assist the regions in their
Read full text of the ITUs own press release here.