Vientiane, Lao PDR (18/03/2015) - READI ASPF-5 Re-farming 2G bands (800/900/1800 MHz)
Vientiane (Laos), 18 March 2015 - The ASEAN in cooperation with the European Union (EU) held today a further meeting of the ASEAN Spectrum Policy Forum in Vientiane under the heading “Re-farming 2G bands (800/900/1800MHz” (ASPF-5). Facilitated by the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI) ASPF-5 focused on ways of re-farming 2G bands (800/900/1800MHz).
Attended by over 70 delegates from the ASEAN and the EU regions, the workshop welcomed the attendance of special guests such as H.E Thansamay Kommasith (Vice Minister, MPT Laos), Ruprecht Niepold (Expert in Radio Spectrum Policy &Co-chair of the ASPF, Europe), Le Van Tuan (Deputy Director General of ARFM and ATRC/SSM chair, Viet Nam), and key experts in the field: Amit Nagpal (Partner, Aetha Consulting, United Kingdom), Helen Hearn (Head of Authorisation, Spectrum Policy Group, Ofcom, United Kingdom) and Erlend Fanebust (SVP, Head of Spectrum and Analytical Decision Support, Telenor ASA, Norway).
“Radio frequency spectrum is becoming an increasingly scarce resource for increased access to communications or ICTs. Telecommunication/ICT is not only facing increased requirements for bandwidth, but also facing ever-increasing pressure from other users of the spectrum, who are exercising their rapidly growing requirements for larger spectrum bandwidths. Hence the roles of the government, regulators are the key enablers for an effective management of the radio spectrum” mentioned H.E Thansamay Kommasith (Vice Minister of MPT Laos) in his opening address.
ASPF-5 main workshop objective was to consider the issues associated with making spectrum currently used to provide 2G mobile services (e.g. the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1.8GHz bands) available for new technologies including 3G and 4G. This so-called re-farming of spectrum can generate significant economic benefits - particularly for consumers in terms of advanced mobile data services - but also requires consideration of a number of technical (e.g. band planning, in-band and out of band interference, cross-border coordination) and economic challenges (e.g. potential impact on competition in the mobile market). The ASPF-5 workshop thus discussed these challenges and sought to identify areas of best practice for national governments and regulators to consider as well as identifying areas where a common ASEAN approach could be beneficial. The following topics have been addressed by ASPF-5:
The issues were introduced by means of an Issue Paper distributed in advance of the workshop and then illustrated by practical experiences through presentations in the workshop from ASEAN and EU speakers.
“2G re-farming is key for making available sufficient spectrum for broad-band wireless services fuelled by an increasing demand due to the rapid spread of smart phones. 2G re-farming is not only a technical issue in relation to these bands, but must be holistically approached taking into account all bands available for wireless broadband, monitoring technology and equipment trends and addressing complex regulatory and competition issues. ASPF-5 contributes to clarifying how the wireless broadband ecosystem evolves and what actions are required” says Ruprecht Niepold, Expert in Radio Spectrum Policy and Co-chair of the ASPF.
ASPF-5 adopted the following recommendations:
Finally ASPF-5 participants requested the ASEAN Secretariat and the EU to facilitate the continuation of the ASPF series of workshops in order to allow the EU and ASEAN member states to continue the dialogue on relevant spectrum management issues with a view to reaching consensus on the way forward including harmonisation measures and policy initiatives.
“ASPF, since its launch in 2012, has become an effective forum for ASEAN spectrum experts to discuss, share knowledge and exchange experiences in spectrum issues internally, as well as with European and industry experts. More importantly, ASFP has become an important platform for ASEAN members to coordinate their views on spectrum management issues. In addition, most of the ASPF meeting recommendations were positively adopted by SSM and some of them served as ground for SSM’s proposal to be incorporated in ASEAN’s TELMIN Ministerial Statement on spectrum issue” said Le Van Tuan, Deputy Director General of ARFM and ATRC/SSM chair, Viet Nam.
A selection of pictures from the ASEAN-EU Workshop on Re-farming 2G bands (800/900/1800 MHz) (ASPF-5) can be found here.
READI ASPF-5 Proceedings:
Session #1 - Issues associated with re-farming of 2G bands and inventory of developments to-date
Nguyen Cong Huan - GSM Updates
Session #2 - General 2G band re-farming strategies and policies
Nguyen Thu Ha - Review on report of APG and SD
Ruprecht Niepold - European re-farming strategies and policy considerations
Session #3 - Solution on 2G bands re-farming / Case studies in EU
Helen Hearn - Case study on administration regulations/policies
Session #4 - Solution on 2G bands re-farming/Case studies in APAC
Puttachad Manmontri - Thailand
Do Vu Anh - Vietnam
Nyoman Adhiarna - Indonesia
Hakan Ohlsen - Issues in deploying 2G band re-farming
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