The WiMAX Forum congratulates the European Commission on the completion and publication of an important new regulation relating to the 2.6 GHz (2500-2690MHz) frequency band. The 2.3, 2.6 and 3.5 GHz frequencies are key bands for Mobile WiMAX technology and will contribute to providing suitable spectrum for WiMAX™ consumer and business services around the world.
The 2.6 GHz decision(a) was unanimously supported in the European Commission’s Radio Spectrum Committee, and it affords European Union administrations to make decisions in relation to the technology, services and usage that can be deployed within the band. It also offers administrations flexibility over the balance of paired (FDD) and unpaired (TDD) spectrum that can be awarded to operators, and provides the essential technical framework. The intention is that the market can decide which technology to deploy in this band, determine the most appropriate use of this spectrum, and create significant opportunities through opening the spectrum which will benefit all consumers.
"The 2.6 GHz decision is the result of many months of work by the European Commission, supported by the CEPT Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) and its project teams," said Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum. "The WiMAX Forum Regulatory Working Group - and its European Regional Task Group in particular - contributed extensively to support and encourage this work via participation in the relevant ECC activities. The WiMAX Forum is excited to see additional progress being made in Europe to further empower the individual governing bodies to make decisions on telecommunications service availability for its citizens."
This decision was made in addition to the recently published European Commission Decision 2008/411/EC harmonising the 3.5 GHz band for electronic communications services and represents a key milestone in the drive to advance new liberalised approaches to spectrum management within the European Commission WAPECS (“Wireless Access Policy for Electronic Communications Services”) initiative.
"The 2.6 GHz decision is fully in line with the WiMAX Forum’s policy on spectrum flexibility, and we commend the European Commission and the ECC on the strong leadership they have shown in moving forward the spectrum management paradigm in Europe,” said Tim Hewitt, Director of Regulatory and Spectrum Policy for the WiMAX Forum. "The acceptance of the 2.6 GHz decision provides a great deal of regulatory clarity for administrations. The EU administrations can now justifiably, and with the knowledge they are backed by the full weight of European Union policy, question the now inappropriate, ECC Decision (05)05, which is holding back the development of a fully competitive European mobile broadband market.”
With the 2.6 GHz regulations now in place, EU administrations can proceed with spectrum awards for this band as a matter of priority.
"The WiMAX Forum encourages the EU administrations to take bold and imaginative decisions to realise the full social and economic benefits of the opportunities that the 2.6 GHz decision has created," said Resnick.
The WiMAX Forum Subscriber and User Forecast Study projects that growth within the region is expected to be strong, especially in Eastern Europe where cable and fixed broadband Internet is less prevalent. Europe had the second highest WiMAX user penetration by the end of 2007 and is anticipated to have the largest number of operators, followed by Asia Pacific, Africa/Middle East, Americas and North America.
According to the same report, by 2012 there will be more than 133 million WiMAX users globally and approximately 70 percent of forecasted WiMAX users will utilize mobile and portable WiMAX devices to access broadband Internet services. Currently there are more than 305 deployments of WiMAX services in 118 countries worldwide.
For more information on the WiMAX Forum or get additional information on the WiMAX Forum Subscriber and User Forecast Study, please visit the WiMAX Forum website at www.wimaxforum.org.
(a) The 2.6 GHz decision 2008/477/EC is titled “Commission Decision of 13th June 2008 on the harmonisation of the 2500-2690MHz frequency band for terrestrial systems capable of providing electronic communications services in the Community”. It was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on June 24th, 2008 (Official Journal L 163/37).