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 …

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 …

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 …

Big future predicted for Li-Fi

Author: Ricardo Tavares
Published: 2015-01-19

Li-Fi, an emerging technology which uses the visible light spectrum (VLS) to transmit wireless data, has passed the proof-of-concept stage and the first commercial applications are coming to market. The term Li-Fi is short for light fidelity and is a play on words derived from wireless fidelity or Wi-Fi. It was first used by Edinburgh University professor of mobile communications …

The case for “unified licenses” in telecommunications

Author: Ricardo Tavares
Published: 2014-11-16

Nearly 140 years after the first commercial telephony service was launched in 1877, many governments still award telecommunications licenses based on detailed service and technology specifications (although most do not anymore). For years telecommunications was considered a natural monopoly, and later limited competition created duopolies. Technology innovation – and the transition to full competition in most markets – has rendered …

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 …