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Huawei supports advanced sharing of C-band spectrum in Africa

By , ITWeb
South Africa , 20 Feb 2015

Huawei supports advanced sharing of C-band spectrum in Africa

Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei Technologies has voiced its support of advanced sharing of C-band (3400-3800MHz) spectrum in key regions on the continent.

The technology ICT solutions provider participated in the 2015 Sub-Sahara Spectrum Management Conference, held on 18 and 19 February in Johannesburg.

The Conference attracted high-level stakeholders and decision makers from Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, to discuss topical issues relating to the management and co-ordination of spectrum policy within the region.

In a media statement Huawei confirmed its support of efforts to secure the availability of adequate spectrum for wireless broadband services relying on 4G technology, as well as for future 5G technologies.

"Voice and mobile Internet connectivity have improved rapidly in most urban areas in Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been the fastest growing region over the past five years in terms of both unique subscribers and connections. Consumers, governments, and businesses across SSA are rapidly adopting mobile, not only as a basic communication tool, but also to access information and a growing range of new applications and services

However, the "digital divide" is still at its most extreme in Africa. In absolute terms, mobile broadband connectivity is still at a very early stage of development in comparison to other regions of the world. ," the statement read.

The argument put forward at the Conference was that without the smart management of spectrum, mobile networks will struggle to meet growing data demands resulting in slower speeds and higher prices, thus hindering Africa from experiencing the full socio-economic benefits of mobile.

There are 8 months remaining until the 2015 World Radio Conference where key decisions will be made impacting the future of mobile broadband over the next year. The global debate has now focused on potential bands for mobile allocations and IMT identifications: UHF band (470-694 MHz), L-Band 1350-1518 MHz, 2700-2900 MHz band, and C-Band (3400-3800 MHz and 3800-4200 MHz).

With the tremendous increase in end user mobile data traffic, Huawei has predicted that the 3400-3800 MHz range will play an increasing role in the evolution of LTE-Advanced, thanks to the unique amount of contiguous spectrum available (

Making these four bands available for mobile services, including the 3400-3800 MHz band, does not mandate a change of use for the spectrum at a national level, but instead it gives countries the freedom to take the decision to make additional spectrum available for mobile broadband when demand from the market and society heightens.

In the meantime, countries may want to use, in some cases, more advanced approaches to spectrum sharing between different services as a means of managing spectrum congestion and enabling innovation, while preserving current usage.

During his address to conference delegates, Alessandro Casagni, Head of the European Wireless Regulatory Policy at Huawei, elaborated on how more advanced approaches to spectrum sharing may enable mobile broadband innovation while preserving current usage.

Such approaches for spectrum sharing, should be assessed at national level, accounting for the latest technologies (including the availability of LTE-Advanced small cells), while ensuring the continued operation of existing services. The regulations at a national level should be aimed at allowing the introduction of IMT networks with the least prescriptive sharing regulation necessary to protect existing users while maximizing efficient use of spectrum.

The latest mobile network topologies such as small cells, within LTE-Advanced Heterogeneous Networks (HETNETs), and the exploitation of innovative spectrum management approaches such as "database assisted spectrum access", are now providing additional opportunities for sharing leading to more efficient utilisation of spectrum.

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