|ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2007 : UHF Spectrum for innovative mobile applications : Europe must not miss the chance!|
|Friday, 31 August 2007|
On the eve of preparations for the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07)1 ETNO, the UMTS Forum2, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance and the GSM Association and its European regional group, GSM Europe, express their joint disappointment with the CEPT3 European Common Proposal to postpone the decision on the allocation to the Mobile Service in the UHF band (470 – 862 MHz) to the WRC in 2011.
Any delay in opening this spectrum to mobile services – freed up as a result of the switch-over from analogue to digital TV broadcasting – risks hampering the development of European industries and deployment of new innovative offerings while consumer demand is increasing.
The transition from analogue to digital TV technology allows a better use of the UHF band. Beyond the broadcasting of existing and new TV channels to fixed and mobile terminals, part of the spectrum could be used by mobile broadband telecommunication networks, provided that all compatibility issues are solved. First experiences in different European countries indicate a strong interest from consumers for such new convergent services based on mobile broadband.
Based on favourable radio-wave propagation, the use of this frequency range would allow enhanced coverage of rural and sparsely populated areas as well as deep indoor buildings coverage by broadband mobile communication networks in a more cost-effective manner, easing the bridging of the digital divide.
WRC-07 offers a unique opportunity to bring some harmonisation and innovative uses in this spectrum range on a worldwide basis. The CEPT European Common Proposal is not in line with proposals from the European mobile Industry and from other regions, in particular those from the Americas and Asia-Pacific which favour the opening of the band to mobile applications at the WRC-07. An opposition by CEPT would have a very negative effect on worldwide harmonisation of mobile communications. Also, CEPT ECC has concluded in its Report B4 that “the harmonisation of a sub-band of the UHF band for mobile communication applications (i.e. including uplinks) is feasible from a technical, regulatory and administrative point of view”.
ETNO, the UMTS Forum, the NGMN Alliance and GSM Association/GSM Europe support the European Commission’s views that “An upgrade in the mobiles service’s status in the UHF band in Europe would increase flexibility and remove a potential constraint to the future optimal organisation of this band.5”
ETNO, the UMTS Forum, the NGMN Alliance and GSM Association/GSM Europe believe that the allocation of the band 470-862 MHz to the Mobile Service has to be pursued at the WRC-07. Whilst such an allocation is not binding to Administrations for the use of the band, it would give certainty and confidence for European industry to respond to consumer demand for innovative mobile services. Postponing the decision until 2011 would leave the European Information Society behind other parts of the world.
1 Geneva, 22 October – 16 November 2007
The contributors to this joint statement are: