Asian Wireless Group Approves 700, 800 MHz Bands for Public-Safety LTE
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 | Comments

The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity Wireless Group (APT-AWG) unanimously approved a new recommendation harmonizing 700 – 800 MHz for Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based public protection and disaster relief (PPDR) spectrum.

The recommendation was made at the 21st meeting of the APT-AWG in Bangkok, and includes APT 700 MHz band 28 and Asian LTE 800 MHz band 26, which are the two most commonly adopted public-safety LTE bands in Asia. The recommendation takes into consideration the growing communication needs of public protection agencies and organizations that are vital to the maintenance of law and order, protection of life and property, disaster relief and emergency response.

The recommendation recognizes Resolution 646 approved by the ITU’s World Radio Conference 2015 (WRC-15) , which encouraged administrations to use harmonized frequency ranges for PPDR to the maximum extent possible and to consider parts of the 694 – 894 MHz frequency range for broadband PPDR applications.

The APT recommendation also takes note of ITU Recommendation M.2009, which identifies radio interface standards applicable to PPDR operations, including TETRA, Project 25 (P25) and LTE, and ITU Report M.2291, which provides details of the capabilities of LTE to meet the requirements of applications supporting broadband PPDR operations.

“APT AWG is committed to supporting standardized broadband for PPDR, for networks, devices and applications. PPDR systems have a critical role to play in effectively and efficiently satisfying local, national and international public-safety objectives,” said Bharat Bhatia, chair of the APT AWG task group on PPDR.

“This is a huge step in the creation of a common global implementation of broadband for public safety,” said Phil Kidner, CEO of TCCA, the global representative for the critical communications community. “It is essential that we all work in harmony to ensure the best use of investment and resources to maximize the impact and the value of public-safety professionals worldwide.”

Asia is leading the way in the allocation of dedicated spectrum for public-safety LTE, the first being South Korea where 10 plus 10 megahertz was allocated for a nationwide public-safety LTE network after the 16 April 2014 disaster when the MV Sewol ferry capsized, resulting in the loss of 304 passengers and crew.

Most Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries including Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore have allocated spectrum in the 800 MHz band 26 for public-safety LTE, and trials were held in Singapore during the national elections and other events. India has also allocated 700 MHz Band 28 for use by defense services that operate the national disaster relief agency.

Nationwide rollouts in the United States, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Asian countries are expected to trigger significant large-scale investments in public-safety LTE throughout the globe. The critical communications broadband LTE market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 20 per cent, from $1.1 billion in 2015 to reach $2.6 billion in 2020.

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