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GSMA criticises Latin American spectrum policies

The GSMA has issued a report, “Effective spectrum pricing in Latin America: policies to support better quality and more affordable mobile services”, highlighting that spectrum policies in Latin America are impacting the delivery of quality mobile services to consumers across the region. The report, which examines spectrum pricing trends in 15 countries across Latin America, “underscores how decisions made by regulators on spectrum pricing can have a negative impact on the quality and cost of mobile broadband services. While auctions remain an effective means of awarding spectrum, regulators should adopt spectrum policies that focus on maximising long-term benefits for society, rather than driving up the cost of spectrum for short-term gain. In Latin America, steep spectrum prices, which are almost twice as high as in Europe, put serious financial pressure on the industry, impacting the delivery of next-generation networks.” “Latin American countries that do not make spectrum available for 4G and 5G networks and artificially inflate the price are holding back their digital economies, not closing the digital divide and hurting consumers,” said Sebastian Cabello, head of Latin America, GSMA. The mobile organisation says high prices for spectrum at auctions are largely due to policy decisions rather than market forces, with regulators effectively setting the price for spectrum up front. This approach has inflated prices in Latin America, which are about 60% higher than in Europe. It adds that the amount of spectrum allocated to mobile operators in Latin America is still well below Asian, European and North American markets. Recommendations include setting modest reserve prices below the expected market value and annual fees that are not prohibitive; bringing spectrum to market in a timely manner; avoiding onerous licence conditions; and adopting best practice in award design that prioritises efficiency, not revenues. The report here

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

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