GSMA repeats call for harmonised spectrum to meet data demands

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The GSMA has repeated its plea for harmonised spectrum to satisfy the expected surge in data usage, ahead of next year's crucial World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC).

Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer of the trade body, was speaking following a meeting of the International Telecommunication Union's joint task group meeting in Geneva. During the meeting, a number of new spectrum bands were put forward for use by operators.

Phillips said he was pleased spectrum was still being viewed one of the methods to deal with future use of data: "Extensive technical analysis has been carried out by governments, industry and international organisations to support the allocation of new spectrum for mobile broadband services.

"New, harmonised spectrum is vital to ensure that mobile networks can cope with the exponential growth in data traffic that we are witnessing today and for the future delivery of affordable and ubiquitous mobile broadband coverage."

According to research earlier this year from Cisco, mobile data traffic will increase almost 11-fold between 2013 and 2018, reaching 15.9 exabytes per month by 2018.

A final decision will be taken at next year's WRC, with 700MHz seen as a likely harmonised spectrum band.

Phillips added: "The decisions made at the WRC in 2015 will have a direct impact on the ability of all the world's citizens to benefit from access to the Internet. As mobile will be the way that the Internet is accessed for the majority of those currently unconnected, the allocation of new spectrum for the mobile Internet is therefore critical."​

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