Mobile operators’ spectrum appetite shifting to higher bands

Author: Martyn Roetter
Published: 2016-10-25

A stark lesson from the ongoing US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auction of 600 MHz frequencies is a sharp drop in the market valuation of sub-1GHz spectrum. How much, or in this context how little, mobile operators are prepared to pay for usage rights in the lower frequencies appears to have changed considerably since the heady days of the 700 …

Dust of WRC-15 settling, it’s time to assess IMT challenges for 2019

Author: Michael Newlands
Published: 2016-01-05

The dust is clearing from WRC-15’s last frantic days at the end of November. But all players are already beginning to look ahead to the next WRC four years from now, and in particular the technical groups’ preparations to assess bands for IMT2020 (which will identify additional spectrum for 5G). Delegates at WRC-15, when deciding the future agenda for 2019, …

A mobile strategist’s takeaway from WRC-15

Author: Ricardo Tavares
Published: 2015-12-01

The spin doctors are shooting out press releases claiming victory at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15). It is in the nature of the consensus politics of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that there is always something for everyone. In radio communications, it was in 2000 this approach took root, as a commentator then said: “The WRC-2000 introduced a new …

Brief history of spectrum identification at WRCs

Author: Michael Newlands
Published: 2015-11-30

The latest WRC wrapped up last Friday after a month of discussions and negotiations with representatives of the major users of spectrum — the mobile, broadcasting and satellite industries—all claiming to have won significant victories. As they had mostly been fighting for rights to use the same blocks of spectrum, nobody had won as such, but eventually compromises were reached …

What should we expect from WRC-15?

Author: Ricardo Tavares
Published: 2015-09-21

The World Radio Conference of 2015 (WRC-15) is scheduled between November 2 and 27 in Geneva, the headquarters of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). In preparation for the event, which is held roughly every four years, groups of regulators are meeting around the world to discuss the agenda and prepare positions. Even though regional groups have influence, some regions are able to …

India’s post-auction trauma

Author: Michael Newlands
Published: 2015-03-29

The Indian multi-band spectrum auction is over, results are published and the government is eagerly looking forward to a massive windfall to plug the budget deficit.  The government is happy and everyone else is trying to put a good face. But we are in one of those “only in India” situations.  India’s Supreme Court still has to make rulings on …

Mobile and money

Indian government greed ahead of high-priced spectrum auctions

Author: Michael Newlands
Published: 2015-01-30

A reasonable person might infer the main function of a government agency called the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) would be to expedite the development and deployment of telecommunications services. But not in India it seems. Rather than helping mobile telecoms operators roll out modern networks for the benefit of the Indian consumer, the government bureaucrats seem to be under the …

5G still in the air as spectrum needs are addressed

Author: Michael Newlands
Published: 2015-01-27

With the news that Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University has opened its own 5G Development Centre, it’s safe to say the search for the building blocks of the next-generation of mobile data services is now truly international. The Chinese-backed research facility is going to be looking into “achieving 5G’s anticipated speeds of up to 800Gbps and thousand-fold increase in capacity.” Or in …

Politics in a box: digital television in Japan and Brazil

Author: Ricardo Tavares
Published: 2014-08-04

There has been a great deal said about the impact of technology on politics.  According to one (seriously flawed) argument the Arab Spring was “created” by Google and social networks. A more valid point notes the Internet has profoundly changed the political campaigning landscape in democratic countries. It is also true political dissidents have used the Internet to mobilize anti-government …

Turkey’s mobile broadband growth hindered by spectrum disparity among operators

Author: Ricardo Tavares
Published: 2014-05-26

A striking, but far from unique, feature of Turkey’s mobile telecoms market is the uneven distribution of the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz spectrum bands which were initially released for 2G GSM operations.  The first market entrants, Turkcell and Vodafone, were awarded 900 MHz spectrum, of which they have 2 x 11 MHz each, but none at 1800 MHz. Later …

A balanced assessment of the 3G/4G spectrum auctions in Pakistan

Author: Ricardo Tavares
Published: 2014-05-19

Perhaps the biggest success of Pakistan’s just-completed spectrum auctions for next-generation mobile services (NGMS) may have passed unnoticed. This is the upcoming shift from a voice-centric mobile industry to a data-centric one. Via the auction, the Ministry of Information Technologies (MOIT) and the Pakistan Telecoms Authority (PTA) have ensured the most advanced mobile broadband technologies available in the world today …

Drama: Spectrum auctions in India

Author: Philipe Moura
Published: 2014-03-18

The Indian government has had a rocky ride with spectrum policy – or sometimes the lack of it – since economic reforms began in 1991. The country's first four cellular licenses were awarded from 1991 onwards via a simple, closed-bid, auction process with winners getting a limited initial spectrum assignment in the 900MHz band. Confusion was quickly added to the …

5G enters the race while 4G is still in the paddock

Author: Ricardo Tavares
Published: 2014-03-10

Several years ago, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a UN body for telecoms policy, released a definition of 4G which its 193 member states should have adhered to (http://www.itu.int). They didn&#39t. As a result, it is now being very careful not to say 5G. A key part of the 4G specification was minimum upload and download speeds and these are …