ITU: In 2015 govts will agree to more spectrum

New ITU secretary general talks about the future mobile data growth in the region
Houlin Zhao was elected secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Houlin Zhao was elected secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

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Houlin Zhao was elected secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for information and communication technologies (ICTs) during the ITU’s 19th Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Republic of Korea.

Zhao believes that the Middle East and Africa region is aware of mobile data growth. “My personal observation is that, in 2015, everyone will be in favour of giving more spectrum to mobile. But all those spectrum requested by GSMA [Sub-700MHz UHF, L-Band, 2.7-2.9 GHz and C-Band] will need to be checked. We have to see during the next ten months if they have enough arguments to convince and see if it is possible,” he commented during the interview.

The telecommunications industry is not the only one lobbing to more spectrum, as the broadcasting and satellites sector also wants to be considered, highlighted Zhao.
He considers that the spectrum used for public interest does not need to be shared with operators in the region.

“The mobile industry has a lot of support from everywhere, because they offer services to all the consumers. If it [spectrum] is free, if it is empty, that is not a question, we can have more flexibility to assign it. If it [spectrum] is already used by somebody, we should not kill it, we cannot kill it, if they still exist and if it is active, there must be some reasons and some supporters and sometimes they cannot be easily eliminated, we cannot support that,” he said. 

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