More frequencies for wireless broadband and initiation of 5G studies

Published 30.11.2015

The World Radiocommunication Conference WRC-15 of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) decided to allocate additional frequencies for wireless broadband. The conference also decided to initiate studies on future 5G frequencies.

The frequency bands allocated for wireless broadband were frequency bands 1 427 - 1 518 MHz and 3 400 - 3 600 MHz that have been harmonised in extensive geographical areas. In addition to these frequency bands, the 700 MHz frequency range was allocated to use in certain geographical areas or certain countries outside Europe.

One of the major decisions at the conference was to harmonise the frequency band 1 427 - 1 518 MHz for wireless broadband. The middle part of this frequency band, i.e. 1 452 - 1 492 MHz, has already been harmonised for wireless broadband in Europe.

Finland's proposal to study the frequency range 470 - 694 MHz was decided to be transferred, as for Europe, to the agenda of the conference in 2023 as part of a wider study on the needs of different radio systems in the entire frequency range 470 - 960 MHz.

Studies of 5G networks initiated at high frequencies

Negotiations concerning frequency bands to be studied for 5G technology continued until the end of the conference. The studies concentrate on frequencies between 24.25 GHz and 86 GHz which are considerably higher than the frequencies currently used in broadband networks. The aim was to select a limited amount of frequency bands between 6 and 100 GHz. Finland supported the proposal that the conference would also have made a decision regarding the studies on lower frequency ranges (6 - 20 GHz).

The studies will be conducted during 2016–2019 in ITU-R Study Groups. Final decisions on the frequency bands will be made at the radiocommunication conference in 2019 based on technical and compatibility studies.

Agreement on the terms of use for 700 MHz

An agreement was also reached on the terms of use for the 700 MHz frequency range allocated for wireless broadband networks at the previous conference. The decision confirms the terms for implementing the interference-free use of different systems between the neighbouring countries. During the conference, Finland and Russia also concluded a bilateral agreement on the specific terms of use of wireless broadband networks and the Russian aeronautical radionavigation.

More frequencies for authority networks

Broadband authority networks may use a part of the 694 - 862 MHz frequency band based on national needs. ITU's resolution 646 covers the technical and operative needs of narrow-band, wideband and broadband authority networks taking the national needs of developing and industrial countries into account.

Localisation of aircrafts improves

Due to the mid-flight disappearances of aircrafts in recent years, the development of global aircraft tracking was an urgent matter at the conference. The conference decided that in future, satellites will cover the areas unreachable by terrestrial networks and report the information regarding the aircraft, for example its position, to the nearest ground station.

Aircrafts' intra-communications systems become wireless

The conference also agreed on frequency bands and measures for replacing the applicable parts of the cable connections in aircrafts' management systems with a wireless data transfer system. Cables constitute a major part of the aircraft's total mass and therefore, the introduction of the wireless system reduces fuel consumption and enables savings for airlines.

The radiocommunication conference in Geneva ends on Friday, 27 November 2015. The Finnish delegate was led by Juhapekka Ristola, Director-General at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and Jarno Ilme, Director at the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority. Besides FICORA and the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the delegate included representatives from the Finnish Defence Forces, the Ministry of the Interior, Digita Oy, Nokia Networks, Yleisradio, Elisa Oyj and TeliaSonera Finland Oyj. The next radiocommunication conference will be held in 2019.

Further information:

Pasi Toivonen, Chief Specialist, FICORA, tel. +358 295 390 463

Kaisa Laitinen, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 295 34 2608

Key words: Internet , Spectrum , Broadband , Mobile broadband , News

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