Taking place across 24, 25 & 27 May, the Asia Pacific Spectrum Management Conference provided an online platform for stakeholders to come together and discuss topical issues relating to the management and coordination of spectrum policy across the region.
During the 3 days attendees had the opportunity to get involved and engage through interactive sessions, one and group networking, technology demonstrations, a virtual exhibition area and much more.
The conference is part of The Global Spectrum Series. The world’s largest collection of regional spectrum policy conferences.
Focus on key frequencies – 6GHz, mmWave, UHF and C-band
Delivering the spectrum to power the continual evolution of 5G
WRC-23 – an update on preparations from across the regions
Meeting the connectivity needs of vertical users – licensing and access models
Rural connectivity – emerging technologies and solutions to tackle the digital divide
Spectrum sharing – new models and approaches to increase spectrum efficiency
All times in the agenda are in local Bangkok time
Asia is widely considered as leading the way on initial 5G rollout, with commercial networks now available in countries across the region. Work is continuing with the award and allocation of the first wave of bands that have been identified for 5G (primarily 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz), and alongside this, attention is already moving on to explore options for the next key bands to provide the required connectivity as 5G starts to become more mature and widespread. A range of different options are being considered for this – 600MHz, 2.3GHz, 3.3 – 4.2GHz, 4.4-5GHz, 6GHz, 26/28GHz and 40GHz amongst them. This session will look at the progress made across the region in getting the initial spectrum for 5G to market, and then moving forward, at the most realistic options to provide the required large contiguous blocks of spectrum that are required for the continual evolution of 5G technologies. It will discuss the amount of additional spectrum that is truly required to meet current and future demands for connectivity, and the best path for Asia to ensure that it maintains its position as global leader when it comes to 5G.
Regulators and stakeholders are increasingly looking at options to provide private localised networks in order to meet the unique connectivity, latency and reliability requirements of different sectors. A number of different models are being seen for this, including the provision of dedicated spectrum to verticals and emerging new business models where operators are using cloud-native systems and network slicing to meet the needs of specific vertical markets. This session will look at the increasing focus on private 5G networks to deliver vertical connectivity, and the different licencing models, technologies and spectrum bands that are being considered. With this shift away from the traditional model of delivering connectivity, it will also look at the impact that this may have on business models and relationships between MNOs and vertical users, and at the potential for new partnerships to be developed for the benefit of all.
Showcase Stage 1: Lighting up the Future, hosted by Huawei
Showcase Stage 2: Demonstrating Emerging Satellite Technologies to Address the Digital Divide in APAC, hosted by SES
Showcase Stage 3: Maximizing the Potential of the UHF Band with Modern Approaches & Systems, hosted by LS telcom
Across the world, preparatory work for WRC-23 has been continuing at a regional level, and later this year, the first inter-regional workshop is due to be held. Whilst many of the key agenda items in this cycle are predominantly focussed on regions 1 and 2, they are still of huge importance to stakeholders in the APAC region. Decisions related to the assignment of key bands such as the 3.3-3.8GHz and 6GHz (both of which we will be looking at in more detail tomorrow) are going to have a big impact on the overall global ecosystem. This session will provide an update on current thinking and emerging positions across the different regions, and bringing the discussion back to Asia, look at the work that is being done to prepare for WRC-23 here, and at how decisions made will impact the future of key bands.
The arguments surrounding the future use of the 3.3-4.2GHz C-band are of course well known – it is seen as vital spectrum by both satellite and IMT users. Across the APAC region and elsewhere, regulators are working to release bandwidth for 5G, whilst also putting measures in place to safeguard satellite services in the band and protect them from interference. This session will provide an update on the current status within the band, before looking at slightly higher frequencies, and examining the potential that the 4.4-5GHz band can also play in delivering connectivity for 5G services. Where does the balance lie in meeting the needs for all the key users in these essential mid-band frequencies?
Showcase Stage 1: The Future of Industry – Spectrum and Connectivity, hosted by Nokia
Showcase Stage 2: Spectrum Needs for 5G Mobile in Dense Urban Environments and 5G FWA in the 2025-30 Time Frame, hosted by Coleago
Showcase Stage 3: The Expansion of Wi-Fi into the 6GHz Band, hosted by Facebook
The 6GHz band continues to be one of the most sort-after frequency ranges for a number of key stakeholders. It is currently used around the world by satellite, fixed and microwave systems and is seen as a critical band for next generation wireless systems Including Wi-Fi and 5G. Countries across the APAC region are starting to make decisions on the future of the band, and have begun consulting and studying the best use of the band. In parallel, the future of the band is also on the agenda for WRC-23 – in Asia, the top 100 MHz portion is under consideration for possible IMT allocation. This session will hear from speakers developing thinking and positions for the use of the band both across the APAC region and elsewhere and examine the best way to ensure that the needs of all the key users in the band can be balanced.
Allocation of spectrum and roll-out of 5G service in the mmWave frequencies has to date been a little slower than many predicted. With only a few exceptions, the vast majority of 5G launches have relied on mid-band spectrum. There are signs however of momentum starting to grow in the mmWave frequencies, and alongside the US, Asia is leading the way globally. This session will look at the current situation in the region and elsewhere across different mmWave frequencies (26GHz, 28GHz, 40GHz, 47GHz, 66-71GHz and more. It will look at the extent to which economies of scale and overall market readiness for mmWave 5G are increasing, and more broadly at the continued evolution of 5G and other key technologies and services in the mmWave frequencies and at the ecosystem that is starting to emerge.
Assignment of the 700MHz band continues across the APAC region, with significant progress seen across a number of countries in the past 12 months. And whilst the digital switchover and clearing process in the 700MHz band continues, around the world attention is starting to switch to the 600MHz band, and the future of services there. This session will look broadly at the situation across both bands. It will examine the progress being made in the 700MHz band and at the different models to assign the spectrum that are being seen. It will also explore some of the positions that are starting to emerge in the sub-700MHz band across the region. Where does the balance lie in meeting the needs of broadcast, PMSE, IMT and other key users within the UHF band?
Showcase Stage 1: 5G Spectrum for Local Industrial Networks – Leveraging Mobile Network Operator Assets & Expertise, hosted by Ericsson
Showcase Stage 2: How Satellite Supports Safety at Sea, the Remotest Location on the Planet, hosted by Inmarsat
Showcase Stage 3: Economics of mmWave from Europe to APAC, hosted by Qualcomm
COVID-19 has really highlighted the importance of digital connectivity in allowing governments, individuals and businesses to cope with social distancing, work from home, get access to distance learning and telehealth, and maintain business and service continuity. Almost half of the population in Central Asia is still not digitally connected, and this digital divide is a major challenge for technology providers and policymakers across the region. This session will look at the different technologies and options that are available to help to tackle this issue and the work that is being done to improve access, affordability, and security, as well as to secure the required investment. Focussing on some of the successful projects that are emerging, it will look at how policymakers, technology providers and other key stakeholders can come together to overcome the barriers and continue to connect the hardest to reach areas.