Telecoms lobbying group TIF has called for central government to provide for greater quantities of radio spectrum to the telecoms industry, which would result in more innovative services, new business models and more jobs.
“Our ability to deliver innovative services and broadband access across Ireland depends on access to greater quantities of radio spectrum,” Santiago Tenorio, chief technical officer of Vodafone, said at a TIF seminar about EU spectrum policy.
“Europe needs to allocate more spectrum for mobile data, increasing the mobile industry’s share of sub-5GHz spectrum from 8pc to 20pc by 2020.”
TIF director Tommy McCabe said that the total volume of services that depend on radio spectrum availability is estimated to be worth at least €200bn annually in Europe, with mobile broadband’s contribution rapidly increasing.
“High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) modems, USB dongles and 3G phones are now in everyday use, so it is critical that more spectrum, especially that arising from the analogue-digital switch-off, is allocated for these services.
“Our recent report, ‘Building a Next Generation Access network for Ireland’, highlighted that central government needs to give clear guidance on plans for spectrum to facilitate industry investment in high-speed wireless access infrastructure,” McCabe added.
Addressing the seminar, Mike Byrne, commissioner of ComReg and vice-chair of the radio spectrum policy group that advises the European Commission on spectrum policy, warned that spectrum is a finite resource, so its allocation requires effective and efficient co-ordination at European and national level.
“Spectrum has significant potential to act as a catalyst for innovation and growth, can contribute considerably to a European-wide economic recovery and support the delivery of sustainable economic development as well as create new jobs,” Byrne said.
By John Kennedy
Photo: Pictured at the seminar about EU spectrum policy yesterday were Amit Nagpal, partner, Analysys Mason; Santiago Tenorio, chief technical officer of Vodafone, and Mike Byrne, commissioner, ComReg