(No.127) The Benefits of Using Advanced Mobile Technologies and Global Spectrum Harmonization

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Status: 
Accepted
Workshop Theme: 
Access and Diversity
Theme Question: 

Questions 5 and 9

Concise Description of Workshop: 

Mobile broadband is a platform that enables socio-economic developments in the areas of healthcare, education, enterprise and entrepreneurship, raising the standard of living and increasing economic productivity in a country or region. The World Bank conducted a study showing that, in many developing nations, for every 10% increase in mobile penetration there would be a 1.4% increase in GDP. Countries around the world are on the path to an explosion in mobile broadband usage that will put a large burden on the capacity of wireless networks, threatening to hamper the growth of this valuable communications platform. The number of devices support advanced mobile technology is projected to be in the billions within the next 10-15-years, offering great economies of scale and benefit. However, in order to achieve this addressing advanced mobile technology is needed, including use of LTE. To help handle this rapid increase in data traffic, many countries are adopting advanced mobile technologies to build next-generation mobile broadband networks. Global spectrum harmonization and rural coverage is important. Ensuring that spectrum allocations are, to the greatest extent possible, in accord with international allocations promotes innovation and investment by creating critical economies of scale. Lower-bandwidth frequencies, such as 700 MHz, have the ability to provide services more efficiently and have a significant coverage range across a broadly defined geographic area, especially in hard-to-reach communities. This workshop will discuss, with the participation of a stakeholders from all regions, how to address projected traffic growth, as technology improvements alone will not be able to keep up with the mounting network capacity demand. And particularly for rural areas, what can help bring broadband services to the underserved and unserved remote areas of the world.

Organiser(s) Name: 

Organizers to be added, in addition to Verizon

Previous Workshop(s): 

IGF Nairobi, Workshop 188: Transforming Higher Education Through Broadband – Maximizing Opportunities -- http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/component/chronocontact/?chronoformname=W...

Submitted Workshop Panelists: 

Submitted Workshop Panelists: 
 
Sandra Gilligan, GSMA (Confirmed)  
Alice Munyua, Government of Kenya (Confirmed)
Robert Pepper, Vice President, Global Technology Policy, Cisco (Confirmed)
Jacquelynn Ruff, Vice President, International Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Verizon Communications (Confirmed)
Peter Micek, Policy Counsel, Access (Confirmed)

Name of Remote Moderator(s): 
Emilar Vushe, APC
Report
Reported by: 
Theresa Swinehart and Milan Vuckovic
A brief substantive summary and the main issues that were raised: 

 
Workshop 127
The Benefits of Using Advanced Mobile Technologies and Global Spectrum Harmonization
IGF 2012 Baku, Azerbaijan
Summary Report
Mobile broadband is a platform that enables socio-economic developments in the areas of healthcare, education, enterprise and entrepreneurship, raising the standard of living and increasing economic productivity in a country or region. This workshop addressed the benefits of using advanced mobile technologies and global spectrum harmonization, and its contribution to helping bring broadband services to users efficiently and have a significant coverage range across a broadly defined geographic area, especially in hard-to-reach communities. 
Panel participants were:

  • Jennifer Warren, Vice President, Technology Policy & Regulation, Lockheed Martin Corporation (Moderator)
  • Peter Lyons, Director of Spectrum Policy for the Middle East and Africa, GSMA
  • Joseph Kihanya, Communications Legal Expert, National Communications Secretariat, Government of Kenya
  • Robert Pepper, Vice President, Global Technology Policy, Cisco
  • Jacquelynn Ruff, Vice President, International Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Verizon Communications
  • Alex Comninos, Doctoral Candidate at Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany

The panelists provided an overview of spectrum related matters pertaining to their areas of expertise and geographic regions.  The dialogue noted the importance of the increase in demand for mobile data and the necessity for the allocation of more spectrum for mobile broadband. Participants also highlighted the importance of global spectrum harmonization and the benefits of 4G LTE technology in reaching underserved and rural areas around the world.
 
Key areas noted in the discussion included:

  • The explosion of demand for data requires ensuring appropriate capacity is exists and is built.
  • The trend of large growth in Internet traffic over mobile devices will continue. According to Cisco data, mobile data traffic will grow at a rate of 78% year-over-year in the period from 2011-2016.  Among the main drivers of this exponential growth in traffic is video streaming, especially high-resolution video, proliferation of tablets and other mobile devices, as well as increase in mobile internet speeds resulting from deployment of 4G LTE technology.  Due to these trends, the allocation of additional spectrum for mobile broadband services and in particular Digital Dividend (below 1 GHz) spectrum is important.  
  • Within developing and emerging countries and regions, the penetration of cell phones far exceeds penetration of wireline broadband. As a result, most people are using cellphones to access the Internet and thus spectrum capacity is extremely important.  In this regard, awaring spectrum to more players would encourage efficiency of use and competition in the market place. 
  • Experiences in developed economies can serve as examples, including in the United States and Verizon’s experience in deploying the world’s first 4G LTE network using Digital Dividend (700 MHz) spectrum frequencies, and efforts to connect rural areas of the US with LTE through its LTE in Rural America program.
  • Experiences in emerging regions and for example Kenya were also highlighted, where Kenya is currently only using 50% of spectrum bandwidth available in the country, so that there is much room for growth.  It is expected that 10% of Kenya’s GDP will come from broadband industry by 2016.
  • The mobile industry is trying to bring access to knowledge to underdeveloped and rural areas of the world and that spectrum is a vital component of mobile infrastructure.  Of importance is that countries remove barriers to what spectrum frequencies can be used for deploying mobile technologies because it would foster global spectrum harmonization, bringing down the costs of devices.