Mobile Radio
Spectrum Allocations
Javier Gozálvez

The World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) concluded its deliberations as delegates signed the Final Acts that revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of radio-frequency (RF) spectrum and satellite orbits.

Around 3,300 participants, representing 162 out of ITU’s 193 member states attended the four-week conference 2—27 November 2015. Approximately 500 participants representing 130 other entities, including industry, also attended the conference as observers.

WRC-15 addressed more than 40 topics related to frequency allocation and frequency sharing for the efficient use of spectrum and orbital resources. Following the growing demand for spectrum for mobile broadband services, WRC-15 identified frequency bands in the L-band (1,427–1,518 MHz) and in the lower part of the C-band (3.4–3.6 GHz). WRC-15 achieved agreement on some additional portions in other bands that were also allocated to mobile broadband services to be used in regions where there was no interference with other services.

To counteract the difficulties encountered in finding additional spectrum for IMT in bands below 6 GHz, WRC‑15 decided to include studies in the agenda for the next WRC in 2019 for the identification of bands above 6 GHz that will allow technology to meet demand for greater capacity.

WRC-15 made a key decision that will provide enhanced capacity for mobile broadband in the 694–790‑MHz frequency band in ITU Region 1 (Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia) and a globally harmonized solution for the implementation of the digital dividend.

Full protection has been given to television broadcasting as well as to the aeronautical radio-navigation systems operating in this frequency band. The decision allocates this band to the mobile service and identifies it for IMT in ITU Region 1, similarly to what was decided by the WRC in 2007 for ITU Region 2 (Americas) and Region 3 (Asia-Pacific).

WRC-15 identified spectrum in the 694–894-MHz frequency band to facilitate mobile broadband communications for robust and reliable mission critical emergency services in public protection and disaster relief, such as police, fire, ambulances, and disaster-response teams.

WRC-15 opened the way for the development by the International Civil Aviation Organization of worldwide standards for unmanned aircraft systems, and identified the regulatory conditions that may be applied to such systems internationally. WRC-15 also agreed on spectrum for wireless avionics intra-communications to allow for the heavy and expensive wiring used in aircraft to be replaced by wireless systems.

Ofcom (United Kingdom) has confirmed plans for releasing valuable new airwaves that could be used to meet the growing demand for mobile broadband services. An auction is planned to take place in early 2016 for the spectrum, which has been made available by the UK Ministry of Defence as part of a wider government initiative to free up public sector spectrum for civil uses.

A total of 190 MHz of high-capacity spectrum is being made available in two bands—2.3 and 3.4 GHz—which are particularly suited for high-speed mobile broadband services. Ofcom proposes to auction the spectrum in lots of 10 MHz for the 2.3-GHz band and 5 MHz for the 3.4-GHz band.

Read the full article in IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine,  Volume 11,  Issue 1, March 2016.

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In this Issue
Message from the Society President
Board of Governors' Report
VTS Partners with the BMW Summer School
VTS Board of Governors: Member Profile
Call For Volunteers
Mobile Radio
Spectrum Allocations
Automotive Electronics
Licensed Autonomous Vehicles
Land Transportation
Fare-Collection System Upgrade for Dallas Light Rail
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VTC2016-Spring, Nanjing, China
Call for Papers: IEEE VTC Workshop on 5G Millimeter-Wave Channel Models