The mobile industry is pushing for a rapid opening-up of the 2.6GHz frequency band across the world for mobile broadband services.
The licensing of the 2.6GHz band is seen as "critical" for the creation of a global mobile broadband market, in a report by US-based research firm Global View Partners in partnership with the mobile industry group, the GSMA.
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The 2.6GHz spectrum has been identified globally by the ITU as the '3G extension band'.
This spectrum is said to be vital for mobile services as network capacity demands increase with the roll-out of next-generation networks such as LTE, which will start to be deployed commercially around the world this year.
"The report highlights that the 2.6GHz band will allow operators to address rapidly increasing traffic volumes in an efficient and harmonised way," said Tom Phillips, chief regulatory affairs officer at the GSMA.
Licensing of the 2.6GHz band has already taken place in Hong Kong, Norway, Finland and Sweden.
Most western European countries are planning to award 2.6GHz frequencies within the next two years.
But the research suggests that leaving the band unstructured for auctions or with a diverse mix of non-harmonised FDD and TDD allocations should be avoided.
The research also points out that in many cases, the 2.6GHz frequency will be the first opportunity for mobile operators to acquire 2x20MHz of contiguous spectrum, enabling them to operate high-speed LTE services.
A version of this story originally appeared in Electronics Weekly.