Monday, July 9, 2012

Why Spectrum Planning and Allocation Matters

Cellular-News writes that a recent GSMA/BCG report states that nations across Asia/Pacific can make GDP gains in the range of $1Trillion through 2020 by harmonizing the adoption of LTE in the 700Mhz band.

The report arrives at this figure by calculating the positive effects on economic growth, jobs and businesses in the region. Government spectrum auction revenue appear to play a very small role in total gains.

This report, in addition to experience from alternative spectrum allocation practices in Europe and elsewhere is yet another reason for the FCC to consider modification to its way of spectrum planning and allocation. GSMA/BCG also emphasizes the importance of internationally harmonized spectrum planning to achieve greatest economic returns. The FCC does not have a stellar historical record in this area, having been unable to secure spectrum in the 2G, 3G and 4G bands used elsewhere in the world and in the process driving up costs and lowering potential economic benefits across the US economy.

This is the reason why the process of spectrum planning and allocation is so important. If the agency is unable to secure internationally recognized spectrum and quickly allocate it in a way where it gets put to use immediately and in a way that reaches the most customers, the lost economic impact is huge. The billions that the carriers may or may not pay in auctions barely makes a dent in the total GDP benefit to the american people. Hence the important issue is to focus on the variables that matter the most to the benefit of the american people, not auction revenue gains.

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