Globe Telecom backs international initiatives for radio frequency revamp

Globe, together with ITU and GSMA, supports harmonization of radio frequency in Asia-Pacific

Online PR News – 24-July-2012 – Manila / Philippines – Leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom said it would support initiatives by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and GSM Association (GSMA) to revise the radio frequency spectrum to allow easier and cheaper global broadband expansion and lower the cost of mobile devices in many markets.

Atty. Froilan Castelo, Head of Globe Corporate and Legal Services Group and a member of GSMA Chief Regulatory Officer Group – Asia, said it was imperative that Asia-Pacific carriers come-up with a common stand on the issue of spectrum harmonization. He added that consistency and fairness in the allocation of frequency spectrum would help boost competitiveness and give telecommunication companies the opportunity to further expand penetration and offer more compelling products and services.

“While Globe recognizes that the power of managing spectrum allocation is in the hands of the regulators, we believe that a review and revision of frequency spectrum can bring benefits to a greater number of people, particularly in far-flung, rural areas. Telcos will be able to deliver low-cost internet connectivity and the cost of mobile devices could become lower since there will be no need to customize these across differing spectrum bands,” Castelo said.

For instance, the new Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard for high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals which wireless carriers worldwide are currently deploying can be used with many different frequency bands. As a result, cellular phones from one country may not work in other countries unless the units are multi-band capable.

GSMA is pushing for a harmonized 700MHz band plan for mobile services across the Asia-Pacific region, noting that spectrum harmonization would result in bigger economies of scale and increase the capacity of the region’s mobile operators to provide better telecommunication services. The organization, in partnership with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), has published research suggesting that mobile services could boost Asia-Pacific economies by $729-Billion in the next twenty years through the region-wide adoption of the 700MHz spectrum band for mobile broadband.

"To realise this immense potential, it is imperative that the region works together to swiftly implement the harmonised 700MHz band plan for mobile services," said Chris Perera, Senior Director, Spectrum Policy & Regulatory Affairs, GSMA said in the report. "Rapid adoption and alignment would generate huge cost efficiencies in both network technology and devices, and ultimately make mobile services more accessible and affordable for consumers."

The report of GSMA and BCG, entitled The Economic Benefits of Early Harmonisation of the Digital Dividend Spectrum and the Cost of Fragmentation in Asia, published in May 2012, concluded that there would be “a large incremental adoption of internet connectivity, particularly in rural areas, as a result of allocating the 700 MHz band for LTE.

According to the US Federal Communications Commission, the 700 MHz band is an important swathe of spectrum available for both commercial wireless and public safety communications. Its location gives it excellent propagation characteristics which allow signals to penetrate buildings and walls easily and to cover larger geographic areas with less infrastructure as compared to frequencies in higher bands. It can also maintain single strength over longer distances.