Users of mobile phones in Brazil will experience less interference if spectrum is allocated efficiently. The GSM Association has advised Brazilian regulator Anatel that it can build on its already successful spectrum policy if its allocation of the IMT-2000 core band in Brazil is consistent with global standards.
At present, Anatel is considering allocating part of the 1900MHz PCS band spectrum (1850-1910/1930-1990 MHz), on a technology-specific basis, to CDMA. Such a decision would prevent Brazil from making full use of the ITU's IMT-2000 core band (1920-1980/2110-2170 MHz) for all 3G mobile telephony technologies. Use of the so-called "mixed-band plan" in this section of the spectrum band would, in the GSMA's opinion, cause harmful interference, loss of spectrum efficiency, uncertainty for investors in mobile telecommunications in Brazil, and degradation of the future consumer experience of 3G users in Brazil, regardless of their technology.
Instead, the GSMA is urging the Brazilian regulator to follow its existing spectrum plan based on the ITU-recommended IMT-2000 core band:
"Clarity of spectrum planning has been a highlight of Brazil 's extraordinary success in mobile telecommunications," declares Tom Phillips, Chief Government & Regulatory Officer at GSMA. "Brazil is today the fifth largest mobile market in the world, with close to 90 million mobile users and penetration approaching 50% of the population. The current spectrum plan, which establishes the IMT-2000 core band for 3G networks, has served Brazil well, attracting major foreign and domestic investment, and will allow all operators in the market, on a technology neutral-basis, to satisfy market demands for spectrum in the near term."
It is stressed that alignment with the ITU assures Brazil 's place as a member of a worldwide community of countries, each operating a common frequency plan and each enjo yi ng the benefits of roaming and scale economies. The harmonisation of 3G spectrum around the world means that the same 3G handsets can be used in many different countries, creating efficiencies for manufacturers and convenience for travellers.
The GSMA also highlighted that the IMT-2000 core band is technology neutral and allows for both 3GSM and CDMA2000 deployments, while a move to mix the two band-plans designs would harm all players, irrespective of technology, by creating serious technical interference. "Extensive studies in standards bodies 3GPP and 3GPP2 have shown that co-existence of WCDMA and CDMA 2000 within the IMT-2000 band poses no problems, but mixing PCS and IMT-2000 band plans would result in significant interference," concluded Mr Phillips.
The GSMA is suggesting that Anatel present a plan for the allocation of spectrum for 3G by establishing a clear roadmap between now and 2008, la yi ng out regulations this year and issuing licences in 2007, thereby allowing for the launch of 3G services in 2008.
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