Spectrum conference finds ways for 5G business success

Areewan Haorangsi, secretary general of Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), at the fourth Asia Pacific Spectrum Management Conference in Bangkok(Photo-Khine Kyaw, Myanmar Eleven)

POLICY MAKERS and industry players from Asia-Pacific countries have been gathering in Bangkok to discuss ways to maximise the benefits in store with a transition to fifth generation (5G) mobile communications technology.

At the fourth annual Asia Pacific Spectrum Management Conference held on July 17-19, Du Yeqing, vice-president of the 5G product line at Huawei Technologies Co, said continuous large bandwidth (100 MHz per operator) would improve both investment efficiency and user experience by 10 times and promote mobile broadband to new heights. 

“C-band is the golden spectrum for 5G. It has been released or will be released for operators in countries worldwide. Continuous large bandwidth will be the cornerstone for 5G business success,” he said at the three-day conference.

According to Du, the current focus of 5G is to coordinate C-band spectrum planning. He warned that other key technologies and requirements must not be overlooked.

“Uplink-downlink decoupling can reduce the number of sites and associated costs by enabling 5G deployment on existing spectrums (2G, 3G and 4G) and allow continuous coverage on C-band,” he said.

Du stressed the need for precise synchronisation, reduced interference, less spectrum isolation, and higher spectral efficiency.

Countries with insufficient C-band spectrum can allocate 100 MHz of continuous large bandwidth on TDD 2.6/2.3 GHz to each operator. Du believes this will improve investment efficiency, while helping to prepare for an evolution towards high bandwidth 5G.

Brett Tarnutzer, head of spectrum at GSMA, a global telecommunications industry body, said harmonised spectrum is fundamental for 5G. He urged governments and regulators in the region to support the need for 5G spectrum at international spectrum discussions including the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019.

“Immediate action is essential due to the lengthy timeframes involved in making new mobile spectrum available,” he said.

Hu Wang, spectrum coordinator for the Asia-Pacific region at Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), said 5G represents a new communication paradigm for Asian society.

“Simultaneous access to low, mid and high bands will be needed to meet all major 5G requirements and usages,” he said.

Hu said expeditious and timely regulatory action is needed to make the existing harmonised mobile bands suitable for 5G in Asia.

He suggested ensuring affordable access to spectrum for users, as it would bring huge benefits to society including an increase in gross domestic product. Auctions should be designed to stimulate spectrum usage, to maximise benefits for society, and to attract investments in infrastructure, rather than expectations to generate more revenues.

Richard Womersley, director of spectrum consulting at LS Telecom, echoed Hu’s view. He said 5G spectrum needs to be made available to industries on a lower cost basis.

NattawutArd-Paru, division director of spectrum policy and strategy at the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, is encouraging closer coordination between all stakeholders in the telecomS industry. He considers strong cooperation and harmonisation among neighbouring countries as a key to the success of 5G business.

Jolly Wong Chun-Kau, adjunct professor at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, said harmonised spectrum and technical standardisations are essential to achieve early 5G deployments. He urged to promote mobile network sharing to lower capital and operational expenses and facilitate innovative services.

AreewanHaorangsi, secretary general of Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), said powering the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution and 5G spectrum requirements are of specific interest to APT. The organisation plans to assist its members in developing national spectrum roadmaps and coordinating spectrum for cross-border needs.

Hosted by Forum Global, the International Telecommunication Union and APT, the conference is aimed at providing a platform for regulators, telecoms operators, equipment makers and other industry stakeholders in the region to gather to discuss how to promote spectrum allocation and formulate clear industry policies.