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May 22, 2013

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announces today its band plan for 700 MHz and announced the release of spectrum in the 800 MHz band for mobile broadband services. The TRA believes that allocating these bands to mobile broadband with the equivalent global device ecosystems will best serve the UAE public interest, driving down costs and minimising interference along borders.

By combining the 800 MHz band plan for Europe, Middle East and Africa with the lower duplexer (2 X 30 MHz) – as a baseline - of the Asia Pacific (APT) 700 MHz band, UAE will be the first country in the ITU Region 1 to reap the benefits of both bands, which will support affordable network rollout, benefiting more of the population with mobile broadband connectivity.

H.E. Majed Al Mesmar Deputy Director General for telecommunications Sector commented: “By maximising the spectrum for mobile broadband in harmony with the growing economies of scale for both bands, the TRA decision will enable nearly global interoperability and roaming.”

“The UAE is predicting a rising demand for global harmonization of the APT 700 MHz band benefiting in the growing ecosystem of devices from Asia Pacific across the Middle East and Africa, through to Latin America”. Al Mesmar added.

The UAE 700 MHz will bring Important benefit for the country of utilising the lower duplexer of the APT700 (2 X 30 MHz) as a base line with the possibility for additional 2 x 10 MHz for more spectral efficiency and for Public Protection and Disaster Relief applications. In addition, 5 MHz has also been considered for direct mode operation to cater for the same purpose.

With mobile voice penetration already high in the UAE, future growth will depend on the development of mobile broadband. In order to achieve this, mobile operators will need to have access to additional spectrum, which should be released in a globally harmonised way.

The decision today confirms the UAE TRA’s leadership in allocating harmonised spectrum to mobile services. By maximising global scale and interoperability and creating a stable regulatory environment, this decision will ultimately encourage long-term investment and socio-economic growth in the UAE and across the region.

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