June 26, 2015
The GSM Association (GSMA), a global trade association for GSM operators, has renewed calls for GSM radio frequencies to be opened up for the delivery of 3G data.
According to a report from analyst Ovum, which was commissioned by the GSMA, ‘refarming’ the spectrum to allow 3G to be used over the 900MHz GSM band, would open up 3G technology to an additional 300 million people in Asia, Europe and Africa.
At the moment 3G operates around 2000MHz. Using lower frequencies would provide better coverage inside buildings and would also allow transmission over greater distances.
The study found that a 3G network operating in the GSM band would give 40 per cent greater coverage than it would at 2100MHz, bringing 3G technology to more rural areas.
This would make 3G data services more cost-effective and allow them to compete more easily with rival technologies such as mobile WiMax.
The study emphasises the need for international co-operation in the opening up of the 900MHz band in order to avoid interference problems with existing GSM services, and possible interference across national borders.
Ofcom is planning to publish a consultation document on spectrum refarming later this year.