The Importance of Regulation for Investment Certainty and Facilitation of Further LTE Deployments
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The Importance of Regulation for Investment Certainty and Facilitation of Further LTE Deployments. Dr. Imad Hoballah. Acting Chairman and CEO Head of Telecommunications Technologies Unit Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. Vice Chairman, Arab Spectrum Management Group (ASMG ). Outline.

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The Importance of Regulation for Investment Certainty and Facilitation of Further LTE Deployments

Dr. Imad Hoballah

Acting Chairman and CEO

Head of Telecommunications Technologies Unit

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority

Vice Chairman,

Arab Spectrum Management Group (ASMG)


Outline Facilitation of Further LTE Deployments

  • Importance of Regulation to Facilitate Substantial Coverage Improvements

  • Lessons Learnt from LTE Spectrum and Deployment Strategies in Europe

    • LTE and Mobile Broadband Bands in the Arab Region

  • What is the most effective way for regulators to work with

  • operators?

  • Beyond Spectrum Availability: Effective regulation to balance

  • between Mobile spectrum and contrasting spectrum uses for Other Sectors



301 Operators are Investing in LTE in 95 Countries & 57 Commercial Networks in 32 Countries

57 commercial LTE networks as of march 2012

71 LTE network planned


Regulators Commercial Networks in 32 Countriesimpose coverage and speed obligations on LTE Deployments to Facilitate Substantial Coverage Improvements

Underlying Theme

  • 90% LTE coverage of areas having less than 5000 inhabitants

  • Opportunity to cover remote and underserved areas

Source: Arthur D Little “LTE Spectrum and Network Strategies” 2012



Regulator Strategies in LTE Bands: Allocations and auctions timing are key factors to control the bands values


LTE bands allocations and auctions timing are strategic keys to control the bands values by regulators

Strategy A

  • Lesson learned when auctioning off both Higher Band and lower Band (800MHz +2600MHz) simultaneously:

    • Bidders will focus on the Lower bands (800MHz)

    • Low Bid competition on Higher Band

    • Lower Bands Average Value per MHz can reach 10th of times more than that of the Higher Band (2600 MHz)


LTE bands allocations and auctions timing are strategic keys to control the bands values by regulators

Strategy B

  • Lesson learned when Higher Band allocation and auctioning is scheduled before Lower band (2600MHz before 800MHz):

    • High Bid competition on Higher Band.

    • Low Bid competition on Lower Bands (800MHz), without loosing the real value of the band where the Average Value per MHz still can reach up to 3 times more than that of the Higher Bands (2600 MHz).


Strategy A Vs Strategy B to control the bands values by regulators

  • Lower Band Average Value per MHz in strategy A can reach up to 2 times more than when strategy B is applied

  • Strategy B allows the Maximization of the High Band Average Value per MHz where it can reach up to 2-3 times more than when strategy A is applied


LTE bands allocations and auctions timing are strategic keys to control the bands values by regulators

6x

3x

3 Years

1 Year


LTE bands allocations and auctions timing are strategic keys to control the bands values by regulators

  • AuctionTiming and marketStatus are essential keys to ensure a high bid competition in both Higher and lower Band

  • Spectrum auctioning strategies are governed by Spectrum availability, Migration plans and

  • Re-farming plans.


Mobile Operators Follow Two LTE Deployment Strategies: 800 MHz + 2600 MHz OR 1800/2600 MHz

800 MHz Attractive features

  • Enables the best indoor coverage, which is critical as people will mostly be using LTE-based data connections indoors on their smartphones, notebooks or tablet PCs

  • Requires less than a tenth of the number of sites required for the same coverage at 2.6 GHz

Source: Arthur D Little “LTE Spectrum and Network Strategies” 2012


Mobile Operators Follow Two LTE Deployment Strategies: 800 MHz + 2600 MHz OR 1800/2600 MHz

1800 MHz Optimal Features

  • Maximizes capacity and coverage, and optimize operator’s cost structure

  • Likely to be an important enabler for international roaming

Source: Arthur D Little “LTE Spectrum and Network Strategies” 2012



LTE Deployments in Arab Countries

Source: GSA “Evolution to LTE report” April 2012


Lessons Learned From LTE Deployments in Arab Countries

  • High priority should be given for Re-farming of 2600 and 1800 MHz bands, ensuring at least a regional Harmonization potential

    • Since 2600 MHz Spectrum Lead Middle Eastern LTE Deployments at this Time

    • 1800 MHz Spectrum to Lead Middle Eastern LTE Deployments by 2015

  • Digital Migration should be accelerated:

    • Congestion of sub–1 GHz Spectrum

    • Increasing Demand and interest in the digital dividend bands (700 and 800 MHz)


Status of Prime Mobile Spectrum Bands in Lebanon

  • 1800 MHz band could serve as a primary band for LTE deployment for mobile broadband operators

  • 3G spectrum is available for additional players as 10 MHz FDD per operator is considered sufficient

Source: TRA Lebanon April 2012




Regulator’s relation with operators should be driven by the golden triple Key : 1- flexibility, 2-Transparancy and 3-clarity

  • Public consultations, Forum organization, workshops.

  • Regular Public publishing and communications of spectrum allocation plans and policies.

  • Encouragement of Telco sector stakeholders to participate in ITU and WRC’s meetings.

  • Maintaining Investment Certainty Via flexibility, transparency and clarity in regulations, spectrum allocations and policies. And considering regional harmonization and potential for international roaming.


Regulators should demonstrate and communicates their commitment to ensure Investment Certainty

  • Decision on coverage obligations whether to be applied on specific spectrum bands or licensed mobile operators irrespective of the operating band

  • Re-farm spectrum bands thus making room for LTE (and other technologies) while insuring a minimum level of harmonization.

  • Decision on technology neutrality: Regulator to license the bands and letting the operator decide on the technology to use

  • Adopting new technologies and measures to increase efficient utilization of spectrum and to resolve interference issues such as:

  • Cognitive radios that enable the use of noncontiguous chunks of spectrum bands

  • Spectrum-sensing technologies that allow bands to be shared by multiple users

  • Technologies allowing spectrum bands to support more efficient modulation

  • Assessment of the impact of migration on consumers, operators, and cost to economy versus long term benefits of refarming or liberalizing certain bands of the spectrum

  • Setting rules and procedures to adopt infrastructure sharing, particularly involving active sharing (e.g., Single RAN and Spectrum Sharing) and passive sharing of towers and ducts


Beyond Spectrum Availability: Effective regulation to balance between Mobile spectrum and contrasting spectrum uses for Other Sectors


International Experience to Address the Balance Between balance between Mobile spectrum and contrasting spectrum uses for Other Sectors Mobile Spectrum and Contrasting Spectrum Use for Other Sectors


Conclusion balance between Mobile spectrum and contrasting spectrum uses for Other Sectors

  • Regulators utilize LTE deployments to facilitate substantial coverage improvements by imposing obligations such as 90% LTE coverage of areas with < 5000 inhabitants

  • In Europe, auction results show that LTE bands allocations and auctions timing strategies are key factors in controlling the bands values

  • Best practice indicate that mobile operators follow two LTE Band pairings deployment strategies: 800 MHz + 2600 MHzOR 1800/2600 MHz

  • Regulator’s relation with operators should be driven by the golden triple Key

    • flexibility

    • Transparency

    • clarity

  • Maintaining investment certainty dictates that regulators should address several challenges:

  • Adopting active and passive infrastructure sharing

  • Refarming spectrum bands to make room for LTE deployment

  • Deciding whether coverage obligations should be per spectrum bands or on licensee basis

  • Government/ Regulators must address the balance between mobile spectrum and contrasting spectrum Use for other sectors (Broadcast, Public Safety, etc.)


Thank You balance between Mobile spectrum and contrasting spectrum uses for Other Sectors


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