SOURCE: 4G Americas

4G Americas

November 08, 2011 17:18 ET

More Worldwide Economic Loss if TV Spectrum Delayed

4G Americas Report Explains the Benefits of Using Digital Dividend Spectrum for LTE

BELLEVUE, WA--(Marketwire - Nov 8, 2011) - 4G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the 3GPP family of technologies, today announced the publication of a white paper, The Benefits of Using LTE in Digital Dividend Spectrum, which provides information on the key advantages of using the Digital Dividend TV spectrum for mobile broadband, particularly for LTE technology. Delay of reallocating this spectrum to the mobile broadband industry could result in further economic loss worldwide. The intent of this paper is to encourage regulators to move quickly toward reallocating the Digital Dividend spectrum for mobile broadband given its potential for providing social and economic benefits.

The Digital Dividend refers to spectrum in the 200 MHz to 1 GHz frequency range that is freed up by the replacement of legacy analog terrestrial TV transmitters with newer digital terrestrial TV technology. Given the capacity benefits of digital broadcast technologies, the transition from analog broadcast to digital broadcast across the world is freeing up spectrum in the Digital Dividend frequency bands (i.e., ~700-900 MHz). The Digital Dividend spectrum will be a critical spectrum source for the mobile wireless industry. This additional spectrum can be used to serve the insatiable demand for mobile broadband in big cities and it has the potential to better serve the rural underserved markets, both of which could ignite innovations and create lifestyle-changing experiences.

"Around the world, there is little dispute that mobile broadband services delivered in the Digital Dividend spectrum provide great economic and social benefits," stated Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. "We must move forward as quickly as possible in streamlining processes and policies to reallocate it as licensed spectrum for the mobile broadband industry. If the reallocation of the band is not expedited, there will be harmful economic ramifications."

LTE is the leading next-generation all-IP mobile broadband network technology, already planned for deployment by more than 250 operators worldwide -- that includes both a mobile broadband component, well-suited for Video On Demand services, and a mobile broadcast component with its enhanced Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Systems (eMBMS) for broadcast services. In combining the unicast and broadcast service delivery capability of LTE, operators can also offer mobile and interactive TV.

The Digital Dividend spectrum is unique with its ideal propagation characteristics for mobile broadband use and is much more economical than spectrum in higher frequency bands. The GSMA stated that "it is approximately 70 percent cheaper to provide mobile broadband coverage over a given geographic area using UHF spectrum than with the 2100 MHz spectrum widely used for mobile broadband today." The cost benefits come from the ability to use fewer cell sites to provide blanket coverage geographically. Such cost efficiencies could make it possible to bring broadband to every human being on the planet.

Mobile broadband service delivered in the 700 MHz Digital Dividend spectrum range provides great economic and social benefits. A sample of a few studies shows the following results:

  • GSMA points to studies showing that there would be a 1.2 percent increase in GDP for every 10 percent increase in mobile penetration in many emerging markets.
  • For the Latin America region, a jointly commissioned study by GSMA and AHCIET and conducted by Telecom Advisory Services LLC (TAS) claimed a $15 billion total economic value to the region and expansion of wireless coverage to 93 percent of the population. The same study indicated that close to 11,000 new jobs would be created.
  • In EU countries, it is estimated that by 2020 the use of the Digital Dividend for mobile broadband will increase GDP by 0.6 percent annually.

"Though LTE and LTE-Advanced are poised to be the dominant mobile broadband and broadcast technologies to support the explosion of data traffic and are the most spectrally efficient of all mobile technologies, they alone will not be able to keep up with the ballooning network capacity demand," Pearson emphasized. "In short, we have a spectrum crunch and the mobile industry needs the Digital Dividend spectrum to be reallocated as licensed spectrum for the mobile industry. The reallocation of the Digital Dividend spectrum for mobile networks will reduce deployment costs and bring broadband to all regions of the world -- bridging the digital divide and making broadband services more accessible to the masses."

The Benefits of Using LTE in Digital Dividend Spectrum, was written collaboratively by members of 4G Americas and is available for free download at:

About 4G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Mobile Broadband Technology
4G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization's mission is to promote, facilitate and advocate for the deployment and adoption of the 3GPP family of technologies throughout the Americas. 4G Americas contributes to the successful commercial rollout of 3GPP mobile broadband technologies across the Americas and their place as the No. 1 technology family in the region. The organization aims to develop the expansive wireless ecosystem of networks, devices, and applications enabled by GSM and its evolution to LTE. 4G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., with an office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Dallas. More information is available at

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Vicki Livingston
    4G Americas
    +1 262 242 3458
    Email Contact