Study highlights economic potential of early broadband spectrum access

broadbandEARLY access to spectrum for mobile broadband in the so-called ‘C-Band’ is feasible, and likely to generate significant economic benefits, a recent report has revealed. The study demonstrated that spectrum sharing between mobile broadband and current uses such as satellite services could enable larger capacity for networks and higher download speeds.

The independent report by Plum Consulting, commissioned by Ericsson, Huawei and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and published recently, assessed the implications of early access to spectrum in the frequency range 3.4-4.2 GHz, the C-Band. As demand for mobile broadband is forecast to increase by several orders of magnitude over the next 10 to 15 years, additional spectrum for mobile services will become a prerequisite for meeting these needs.

Already and globally, mobile operators are expected to invest $$1.7 trillion in improving mobile broadband access from 2014 – 2020, according to the GSM Association (GSMA).

GSMA however, said that the industry was likely to require between 1600 MHz and 1800 MHz of spectrum to keep up with demand and ensure widespread access to mobile broadband services.

As such, the report noted that the C-Band plays a key role in this context, as this frequency range is particularly suitable for the evolution of 4G and future 5G innovation.

The report found that early access to spectrum in the C-Band could provide significant additional capacity for network operators to meet growing traffic demand, and secure a good user experience. It also points to significant economic benefits for this scenario, by enabling larger capacity and higher download speeds than in the current networks, especially in hot spots.

“With mobile demand set to explode over the next decade, additional spectrum needs to be freed up to prevent a shortage,” said Chief Strategy Officer, at Huawei Wireless Product Line, Quan Yu, adding, “the C-Band potentially offers the large contiguous blocks that will be required for mobile broadband use as mobile data traffic grows. It may allow mobile operators to address the traffic growth challenge while reducing the costs of service provision and improving end user quality of experience, making it a key frequency range to explore for future mobile communications.”

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