ITU allocates post 2015 frequencies

Now we know where 4G is going to sit

The World Radio Conference, discussion forum of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), has allocated five frequency blocks for use by future mobile telephony technologies, with member countries signed up to the blocks they like the look of and aren't using for anything else.

Two blocks, 450-470MHz and 2.3-2.5GHz, are intended to be globally available, while 698-862MHz, 790-862MHz and 3.4-3.6GHz are being adopted by some countries but not others.

3.4-3.6GHz, known as C Band, is of particular concern to satellite operators, who often use this frequency for communications and are worried about possible interference with their operations.

But it's not just satellite operators who are concerned about the allocations - the EUB (European Broadcasting Union) is unhappy with the emphasis on telephony at the expense of broadcasting. WRC-07 Chair François Rancy told Policy Tracker: "Identification of spectrum is a very important signal to manufacturers making equipment for this band. [Broadcasters fear] this will create a huge economic pressure to use UHF for IMT and it will not longer be possible to use it for broadcasting."

While the allocations won't come into effect until 2015, which should leave plenty of time to ensure telephony services don't interfere with broadcasting, EBU senior engineer Terry O'Leary said: "They should have done these studies before allocating the spectrum. We wanted a decision only after they had been carried out... there is a possibility that mobile services will create holes in the TV transmissions."

The next World Conference will be in 2011, by which time any interference problems should have been identified and addressed. Either that or we'll just have to decide what's more important - TV or telephone? ®

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