GSMA Report Shows High Spectrum Prices Leave Millions Unconnected
The negative impacts of high spectrum prices on consumers can no longer be disputed, according to a new report released today by the GSMA at ITU Telecom World 2019. The GSMA report titled, ‘The Impact of Spectrum Prices on Consumers’ confirms that countries with poor spectrum policies – which either inflate spectrum or delay spectrum assignments – are leading to millions of people being left unable to access mobile broadband services or experiencing reduced network quality.
“Spectrum auctions can’t be viewed as cash cows anymore,” said Brett Tarnutzer, Head of Spectrum, GSMA. “Any government that prices spectrum to maximise revenue now does so with full knowledge that its actions will have negative repercussions on citizens and the development of mobile services. We now have clear evidence that shows by restricting the financial ability of operators to invest in mobile networks millions of consumers are suffering.”
The GSMA study is the first to provide strong evidence to directly link high spectrum prices, and certain other spectrum management practices, to negative consumer outcomes, such as slow network rollout, reduced quality of service and poor mobile coverage.1 The key findings for the period analysed from 2010 to 2017 in both developed and developing countries are highlighted below:
1. In developed countries, high spectrum costs played a significant role in slowing the rollout of 4G networks and drove a long-term reduction in 4G network quality;
2. In developing countries, spectrum prices were, on average, almost three times more expensive than in developed countries in relation to expected revenues. In these countries, high spectrum costs slowed down the rollout of both 3G and 4G networks and drove long-term reductions in overall network quality;
3. In the countries studied with the highest spectrum prices, the average mobile operator’s 4G network would cover 7.5% more of the population if they had acquired spectrum at the median spectrum price;
4. The timing of spectrum awards has a significant impact on mobile coverage. For example, if an operator was assigned 4G spectrum at least two years earlier, their 4G network population coverage would on average be 11–16 percentage points higher (all else being equal). The rollout of 3G networks was also significantly delayed in markets that licensed spectrum late, with 3G coverage levels up to 12% lower during the rollout period in those markets; and
5. The amount of spectrum licensed to operators had a significant impact on network quality. Over the period of analysis, an additional 20 MHz of 4G spectrum increased average download speeds by between 1 and 2.5 Mbps (equivalent to an increase of up to 15%).
“These findings have important ramifications for governments and regulators – particularly those betting on 4G and 5G as enablers of economic growth and sustainable development,” added Brett Tarnutzer. “It’s clear that unless we reverse the alarming trend of expensive auctions, this will have damaging consequences for consumers and the development of the digital economy.”
The GSMA’s ‘The Impact of Spectrum Prices on Consumers’ report is available here .
Notes to editors
- The study conducted by GSMA Intelligence is the most detailed econometric study ever conducted into spectrum pricing as it considers more countries than previous studies (i.e. 64 including developed and developing), more consumer outcomes (i.e. cost, quality and reach of mobile services) and controls for a wider range of other potential explanations for these outcomes (e.g. market competition, population density, timing of spectrum awards and others).
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators and nearly 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Los Angeles and Shanghai, as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com . Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.
About Business Wire
101 California Street, 20th Floor
CA 94111 San Francisco
Subscribe to releases from Business Wire
Subscribe to all the latest releases from Business Wire by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Latest releases from Business Wire
INNODISK21.11.2019 02:43:19 CET | Press release
Innodisk and Microsoft Announce Strategic Alliance, Pushing for New Out-of-Band Standard for Secure AIoT Device Management
CQN-CA-ESRI20.11.2019 19:31:05 CET | Press release
CORRECTING and REPLACING Salesforce Selects Esri as Key Geospatial Partner
NY-MSCI20.11.2019 18:51:03 CET | Press release
MSCI Completes Private Offering of $500 Million 4.000% Senior Notes Due 2029
OR-MOUSER-ELECTRONICS20.11.2019 17:56:09 CET | Press release
Mouser Electronics and Grant Imahara Explore Crowd Funding for Innovators in Newest “Engineering Big Ideas” Video
AGROAMERICA20.11.2019 17:33:08 CET | Press release
Agroaceite, a subsidiary of AgroAmerica Tropical Oil Holding Corp. is Awarded the Community Impact RSPO Excellence Award 2019
SAGEMCOM20.11.2019 17:24:08 CET | Press release
Sagemcom and Com Hem First to Launch Wi-Fi 6 Cable Gateway on Multi-Gigabit Broadband Market
In our pressroom you can read all our latest releases, find our press contacts, images, documents and other relevant information about us.Visit our pressroom