As non-voice traffic grows explosively over the next decade, the mobile industry association warns that operators face increasing challenges to add capacity and coverage to their existing networks. As the efficiency of broadband cellular technologies rapidly approaches theoretical limits, the UMTS Forum warns that the gap between demand for media-rich mobile services and available network capacity will increase sharply in the coming decade.
In its most recent projections (Report 44, Mobile traffic forecasts 2010-2020), the UMTS Forum has calculated that mobile data traffic will grow by a factor of 33x during the decade to 2020. This growth is even more pronounced in Western Europe, where the same study forecasts that data traffic will leap by a factor of 67x in the same 10-year period.
Investment in new technologies and network density alone cannot address this dramatic increase in demand that is widely echoed by numerous other industry forecasts. To sustainably deliver the full socio-economic promise of mobile broadband, it is therefore clear that advances in technology and investment must be complemented by timely availability of harmonised radio spectrum to support new services and more users.
To address this challenge, proposes the UMTS Forum, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) can exercise its global leadership position by putting IMT spectrum high on the agenda at the next World Radiocommunication Conference in 2015.
In its new White Paper titled Spectrum for future development of IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced, the UMTS Forum urges the ITU to examine spectrum requirements for IMT, prior to timely identification of further bands. Specifically, it is recommended that:
The World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12) should adopt an Agenda Item for the WRC-15, allowing the identification of additional IMT spectrum;
The ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) should conduct during the next study period (between WRC-12 and WRC-15) thorough studies on future IMT spectrum requirements;
The ITU should urge countries to coordinate their actions in order to harmonise IMT spectrum both before and during the WRC-15.
Currently, there just isnt enough spectrum to support the projected growth of mobile data, states UMTS Forum Chairman Jean-Pierre Bienaim. The continuing growth of mobile broadband clearly relies on the identification of additional IMT spectrum.
The ITU has a unique leadership role to play in identifying this urgently needed spectrum and securing its timely harmonisation, continues Bienaim. The UMTS Forum thus appeals to ITU leadership to exercise its mandate and ensure a robust study structure that will support this ambitious but vital task.
The new UMTS Forum White Paper Spectrum for future development of IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced is available FREE at here