The 8th Asia-Pacific Spectrum Management Conference took place as a hybrid event from 26 – 27 April 2022, in Bangkok and Online.
Across 2 days attendees had the opportunity to be involved in discussions on the key spectrum topics for the APAC region and beyond, through interactive sessions, in-person and virtual networking opportunities, an online exhibition area and much more.
This event is part of The Global Spectrum Series. The world’s largest collection of regional spectrum policy conferences.
This conference will be held under a Hybrid Format. To ensure the health and safety of our speakers, attendees, sponsors and staff while maximising interaction amongst participants, in-person attendance at this event will be limited.
There will be a significant in-person component to this event with demand likely to be high. If you are interested in participating in the conference in person we recommend that you express interest for a place as soon as possible. For those not attending on site, sessions will be live streamed to our events platform.
We will continue to monitor developments around the COVID-19 pandemic, follow recommendations regarding masks, social distancing, and sanitation set out by the venue and local authorities and may revise the capacity limit based on the advice received.
Countries across the Asia Pacific region are at hugely varied stages in their connectivity journey. More developed nations across the region have led the way globally in 5G deployment, and are starting to again take the lead in the early stages of 6G development; whilst more developing nations are still focussed on rolling out 4G or even 3G services and on connecting often large areas that still remain unconnected. This dichotomy often leads to very different connectivity priorities across neighbouring countries, and complex challenges for spectrum managers looking to deliver a coherent spectrum policy that encompasses the needs of all. This session will look at the best way to balance these priorities, and at the work that is being done to develop a spectrum strategy that meets the needs of all countries across this diverse region.
Like almost all aspects of society, preparation for WRC-23 has been significantly affected by the global pandemic. Meetings and discussions have been taking place online rather than in person, which has created a number of additional challenges for everyone involved. Despite this, progress on key issues and on preparatory studies has been continuing. Whilst many of the key agenda items in this cycle are predominantly focussed on regions 1 and 2, issues such as the 3.3 – 3.8GHz and 6GHz bands are still of huge importance to stakeholders in the APAC region. This session will look at where we currently are with regards to the preparatory work that is being done in these areas and more. With the hope that we will be able to return to in-person meetings in the first half of 2022, it will look at the challenges that still lie ahead, and the work that needs to be done to ensure a successful outcome for WRC-23 for the Asia-Pacific region and more broadly.
The 3.5GHz range (C-band) is seen as a hugely important frequency by a number of key users. Around the world, spectrum within the lower portion of the band has been the basis for the majority of commercial 5G networks that have been launched to date. At the same time, it is intensively used for satellite services, with its high resistance to rain fade making it crucial for some of the tropical areas in APAC. In addition to this, spectrum in the 3.8 – 4.2 GHz upper portion of the band is now increasingly being seen as an option to provide localised, private 5G networks for vertical users. This session will look at the continued work that is being done across APAC to release bandwidth for 5G in the band, whilst also putting measures in place to safeguard satellite services in the band and protect them from interference. It will examine the extent to which innovative new technologies and licencing models may be able to help increase the efficiency of these highly sought-after frequencies, and ultimately look at the best way forward in balancing the needs of all the key users in the band.
The debate surrounding the future of the 6GHz band continues – it has become one of the most hotly contested frequency ranges both in Asia and elsewhere around the world. With spectrum demand on the rise, and competition for bandwidth intensifying, the IMT community has identified 6GHz as the ideal substitute in areas that it is challenging to clear the 3.5 GHz band because of its good propagation properties and its potential to provide a large contiguous bandwidth of 1200 MHz. On the other hand, the WiFi community argue that there are numerous social and economic benefits of making the band available on a licence-exempt basis, and that it is vital to help addressing the digital divide, improving rural connectivity and accelerate economic innovation. With countries across the APAC region and globally starting to make decisions on the future of the band, this session will look at the current situation and discuss the best way forward for APAC countries in order to make the optimal use of the valuable bandwidth that is available.
As we have seen in the last 2 sessions, whilst the C-band and 6GHz band are viewed as hugely important frequencies for 5G development, there are challenges that exist with making spectrum in both bands available in some countries across the APAC region. And even in those countries where these bands are available for 5G, in order to meet continually growing needs, it is claimed by GSMA an additional 2GHz of mid-band spectrum will be required by 2030. This session will look at some of the other options that are being explored in countries across the region to provide the mid-band capacity that is required. Focus will be given to the 2.1GHz, 2.3GHz, 2.6GHz and 4.4-5GHz bands; as well as to future plans for the 2GHz band (1980—2010 MHz paired with 2170—2200 MHz), which is being considered across the region for a number of different uses including mobile, satellite, Air-To-Ground and narrowband IoT.
One of the biggest ongoing challenges for regulators in the APAC region (and elsewhere in the world) is to design a process for assigning spectrum licences that ensures an efficient allocation of the available bandwidth at a fair price; and ultimately delivers a competitive market and encourages innovation. In addition, planning ahead and the delivery of a roadmap for spectrum release can play a big part in promoting investment and innovation and insuring the efficient use of spectrum. This session will provide the opportunity to look at some recent examples of best practice that have been seen in licencing and planning, and explore why these aspects are so important.