Aug 25, 2015

August 25, 2015

Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) Demonstrates Commitment to Spectrum for Mobile Ahead of WRC-15

London: John Giusti, Deputy Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA, commented on the outcome of the final meeting of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) in Ottawa, in preparation for this November’s World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15):

“The GSMA welcomes the strong leadership shown by the governments of North and Latin America and the Caribbean last week in supporting the growth of mobile broadband, a critical enabler to social and economic opportunity in the region. Many countries require connectivity across large rural areas and mobile broadband is often the only way – or at least the most cost-effective way – to ensure people have access to the internet.

“As of September 2014, there were 216 million individuals using mobile devices to access the internet in Latin America, an overall penetration rate of approximately 35 per cent. By 2020, the GSMA forecasts that penetration will come close to 50 per cent of the population, which means an additional 105 million people will gain access to the mobile internet1 . However, it will be vital to secure additional spectrum for mobile at the WRC-15 conference to enable this growth across the Americas.

“The GSMA commends CITEL’s decision to support the entire L-band (1427-1518MHz) for mobile broadband. Early indications suggest that this band will have widespread support as a globally harmonised band at WRC-15, driving economies of scale that will benefit consumers around the world.

“We are also pleased with the progress made on the sub-700MHz UHF band (470-698MHz), critical for expanding affordable rural connectivity. Although there is no CITEL common proposal in support of this band for mobile, a growing number of countries want to ensure they have flexibility to deploy mobile broadband networks in this band. The GSMA will continue to work in concert with administrations in the Americas and other regions to advance a global multi-country proposal to the WRC-15 in November. Given the shared challenges of expanding rural connectivity in countries around the world, the GSMA urges governments from all regions to join this multi-country proposal in support of the sub-700MHz band.

“To meet the intense urban capacity demands and give city dwellers in the Americas access to high-speed mobile broadband, CITEL governments have made progress in recognising the need for higher capacity spectrum in the C-band, whilst acknowledging the importance of this band for satellite communications for tropical countries. We are encouraged that CITEL has taken the decision to make 3.4-3.6GHz in the C-band available for mobile broadband use and look forward to continued discussions on increasing the availability of harmonised spectrum in the 3.4-4.2GHz frequency range.

“Mobile data traffic is predicted to rise more than sixfold in North America and tenfold in Latin America between 2014 and 20192 . We urge all the governments of the Americas to make a clear call for the mobile spectrum needed to support future data demand and the region’s digital economy.”

1 Source: GSMA, The Mobile Economy Latin America 2014

2 Source: Cisco VNI 2015. Mobile data traffic will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 47 per cent in North America and 59 per cent in Latin America between 2014 and 2019.

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