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Refarming 900 MHz
Ministry of Economic Development, Mobile Network Operators
Telecom Italia SpA Vodafone Omnitel N.V. Wind Tre S.p.A.

The main objective of the project is to verify the quality of GSM-only users and devices as a result of the refarming of the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands and to analyse the GSM retail market in order to monitor the gradual evolution of mobile networks towards advanced 4G and 5G technologies.


The impact of the project is related to the protection of the current quality of service of GSM-only users by experimentally verifying that the reduction of the frequency resources for the GSM system due to the refarming does not lead to an unacceptable degradation of the quality of user terminals or devices (e.g. M2M) operating only in the GSM system.

Another aspect of interest for the Institutions (MISE, AGCOM) concerns the analysis of the mobile retail market also to estimate the possible need to maintain portions of frequency bands for the GSM technology.


The project concerns the assessment of the impact on GSM quality due to the refarming of the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency bands.

The activity is carried out within a specific Technical Working Group set up by MISE whose participants are MISE, FUB and mobile operators using the GSM bands.

GSM quality is evaluated through the joint use of network counters provided by the mobile operators and accurate experimental measurements carried out by FUB.

The quality assessment methodologies depend on the 900 and 1800 MHz refarming scenarios.

As a consequence of the progressive refarming of the GSM bands, it was necessary to update the GSM quality assessment criteria to take into account more complex scenarios, such as for example, the refarming of both 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands in the same geographical area or the refarming of multiple carriers in the 1800 MHz band.

Another topic of interest on the evolution of cellular technologies is the analysis of the GSM Retail market.

The information of the GSM Retail related both to mobile networks and M2M networks are mainly provided by the mobile operators and supplemented with other data available on the web from official entities (e.g. AGCOM data).

FUB performs the data analysis in aggregate mode through a rigorous and complex model that allows to evaluate current and future trends of the GSM retail both for mobile users and for M2M devices.