ITU globally allocates 700 MHz band to mobile

The ITU formally moved to allocate the 700 MHz band (specifically 694-790 MHz) to the global mobile industry at the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) currently underway in Geneva.

The specific decision taken applied only to ITU region 1, which consists on EMEA and central Asia. A similar situation is already in place for regions 2 and 3 (Americas and APAC), so now all the pieces are in place to harmonise the 700 MHz band for mobile globally, which has lots of benefits for handsets supply chain, roaming, etc. The long range of radio over the 700 MHz band will be especially beneficial for rural coverage.

“The WRC-15 decision represents a landmark in the development of broadband mobile on a worldwide scale, regardless of location, network or terminal used,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “It goes a long way in enabling bridging of the digital divide, while fully protecting the other services currently operated in the band.”

“The global harmonization of the 694-790 MHz frequency band that has been decided by WRC-15 paves the way for manufacturers and mobile operators to offer mobile broadband at an affordable price in currently underserved areas,” said François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau.

In other 700 MHz news France auctioned off eight blocks of spectrum in that band last week, with Orange and Free grabbing two each, while SFR and Bouygues settling for just the one. The French tax payer benefitted to the tune of €2.8 billion as a result of the auction.

  • ITU Telecom World

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