The decisions taken at the recent World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) stimulate future 4G mobile broadband growth by agreements on a global level regarding spectrum for mobile broadband use in the 700MHz band, the L-Band and the C-band. These frequency bands will provide enhanced capacity for mobile broadband services, create new opportunities for operators, and help to bring affordable mobile broadband to users globally. New study efforts on several spectrum bands above 24GHz for next WRC in 2019 will provide one of the cornerstones for the development of 5G services. Ericsson supports this international accord that secures a stable regulatory environment as a foundation for long-term investments within the mobile industry.

Spectrum provides the basis for the mobile broadband services that billions of users rely on around the globe. Mobile data traffic is expected to grow by more than 10 times between now and 2021, and access to sufficient spectrum is a key enabler for the continued development of the mobile internet.

Following the conclusion of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15), Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) acknowledges the decision to make additional spectrum available for mobile broadband as a step towards achieving the full potential of a Networked Society.

Held in Geneva, Switzerland, between November 2 and November 27, 2015, the WRC-15, representing regulators from around the world, reached agreement and identified new spectrum for mobile communications for international mobile telecommunications (IMT), which is the collective term for 3G, 4G and 5G.

  • A decision was reached to make the L-Band (1427 – 1518MHz) and part of the C-Band (3.4 – 3.6GHz) are available for mobile broadband on a global basis.
  • The 700MHz band (694 – 790MHz) is now also globally harmonized following the initial decisions made at WRC-12 and the follow-up action at WRC-15 for its use in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
  • Additional spectrum is identified in some countries in the frequency bands 470 – 694/698MHz, 3.3-3.4GHz, 3.6-3.7GHz and 4.8 – 4.99GHz.
  • Spectrum at higher frequencies in the range from 24.25GHz up to 86GHz will be subject to study work for 5G (IMT-2020) usage in ITU, providing one of the cornerstones for future 5G services.

These allocations will provide enhanced capacity for mobile broadband services. Ericsson wants to see sufficient spectrum secured to meet the consumer-driven growth of mobile broadband usage for 4G and for next generation 5G networks, alongside the needs of other spectrum users such as the broadcasting industry.

In announcing the results from the World Radiocommunication Conference, François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau says, “A great deal has been achieved in the last four weeks and the results will have a major impact on the future of the telecommunication sector in general and radiocommunications in particular. The outcomes of WRC-15 are aimed at maintaining a stable, predictable and universally applied regulatory environment that secures long-term investments for the multi-trillion dollar ICT industry.”

Ulf Ewaldsson, Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson, says: “The latest Ericsson Mobility Report shows that 20 new mobile broadband subscriptions are activated every second. This tremendous growth in mobile traffic relies on spectrum, and these newly identified spectrum bands will be important to support future services around the world. Beyond 2020, we see that additional spectrum will be needed to support the wide range of 5G-enabled use cases, such as the Internet of Things.

“Ericsson’s vision is a Networked Society where every person and every industry is empowered to reach their full potential. Timely and effective spectrum allocation is a vital enabler for realizing this vision.”

An Ericsson team joined around 3,800 participants, representing 158 Member States, at the four-week conference. The WRC is held every three to four years to review and, if necessary, revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of radio-frequency spectrum.

Spectrum is the continuum of frequencies that characterizes radio signals. Frequencies are measured in the number of cycles per second, termed Hertz, e.g., 800MHz (800 million cycles per second), and spectrum is often discussed in terms of ranges of frequencies. The radio frequency spectrum is used for applications such as mobile communications systems, fixed communication links, TV broadcasting and satellite communication systems.

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About the ITU

The ITU is the United Nations’ specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). The ITU currently has a membership of 193 countries and almost 800 private-sector entities and academic institutions. The ITU is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has 12 regional and area offices around the world.