SAMENA Telecommunications Council propose that administrations pursue all necessary efforts in making the 1452-1492 MHz band available for SDL in timely manner to allow the mobile network operators to offer innovative mobile broadband services in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The proposal is in line with a year-on-year increase of up to 3 times in the data traffic over mobile broadband networks between 2012 and 2013 in some countries located in the MENA region. The rise is marked by a particular evolution towards asymmetrical traffic due to mobile multimedia usage leading to an increasing demand for downlink capacity.
According to Plum Consulting, the downlink traffic is growing very fast due to more and more important mobile multimedia usages and the ratio measured on some live mobile networks can reach a 10:1 downlink/uplink ratio. In order to address the traffic asymmetry, Europe has decided to harmonize the 1452-1492 MHz (L-band) for Supplemental Downlink (SDL). L-band SDL will help to increase the capacity of mobile broadband networks by aggregating the 1452-1492 MHz band in the downlink with other IMT FDD bands (800, 900, 1800 or 2100 MHz for example) using HSPA+ and LTE standards.
“The ecosystem for Supplemental Downlink (SDL) in 1452-1492MHz (L-band) has matured with the development of the appropriate regulatory framework, the technical standardisation and the expected availability of commercial equipment by 2015. Therefore, SAMENA supports the harmonization and the use of the L-band for SDL in the Middle East and North Africa,” said Mr. Bocar Ba, Chief Executive Officer, SAMENA Telecommunications Council. “This approach is of particular relevance for MENA countries where downlink data traffic is booming and where the harmonization and use of L-band SDL can generate substantial economic and social benefits reaching $26bn, as elaborated in a report by Plum Consulting,” he added.
SAMENA Telecommunications Council’s decision to encourage spectrum harmonization and the use of the L-band for SDL in MENA offers a sound solution to meet the growing increase in downlink traffic. Further, SDL provides the required additional downlink capacity to the mobile broadband networks to cope with the massive mobile broadband data increase.