Business Wire

GSMA Report Shows High Spectrum Prices Leave Millions Unconnected

Share

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.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

  1. 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.

Contact information

Media Contacts:
For the GSMA
Isobel Moseley
+44 (0) 207 067 0545
IMoseley@webershandwick.com
GSMA Press Office
pressoffice@gsma.com

About Business Wire

For more than 50 years, Business Wire has been the global leader in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure.

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

flatex AG: Best Quarter Ever - Volatility Brings Absolute Record Growth6.4.2020 10:05:00 EESTPress release

The outstanding development since the beginning of the year at flatex AG (WKN: FTG111, ISIN: DE000FTG1111, Ticker: FTK.GR) and DEGIRO continues on a sustained basis. flatex and DEGIRO gained more than 170,000 new customers on a pro forma basis in Q1 2020. 35,000 new customers (+218% compared to Q1/2019) opted for flatex and more than 135,000 customers opted for DEGIRO (+385% compared to Q1/2019). In the first quarter, flatex Bank processed 6.5 million securities transactions (+123% compared to Q1/2019), DEGIRO processed 10.8 million securities transactions (+134% compared to Q1/2019). The total number of transactions on a pro forma basis increased by almost 130% compared to the same quarter last year (pro forma Q1/2019: 7.5 million transactions) to 17.3 million. "The first quarter was a very exceptional one, each month was a record month. The current volatility in the markets is extremely good for our business, despite the reason for the volatility being anything but nice. However, lik

World Parkinson’s Day 2020: BIAL launches new campaign ‘Don’t let Parkinson’s stop you. Keep on moving’6.4.2020 10:02:00 EESTPress release

BIAL Pharmaceuticals has created a new film for World Parkinson’s Day 2020 to dispel the stigma around Parkinson’s and show the amazing achievements, breadth and diversity of people living with the condition. The film, “Keep on moving”, is the latest part of a worldwide campaign, launched by BIAL four years ago. The campaign aims to increase awareness and knowledge of Parkinson's Disease and to inspire and empower millions of people living with Parkinson’s around the world. Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease that affects as many as 1.2 million people in Europe alone.1 As the disease progresses, everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating, sleeping and even walking can become real challenges.2 The film aims to show that, despite this, Parkinson’s doesn’t need to define a person. It features consecutive sets of people doing what they love, whether it be playing the guitar, drumming, drawing or cooking. One person in each set has Parkinson’s and one does not. The focus is on

IDEMIA Ranked #1 in International NIST Benchmark for Iris Recognition6.4.2020 10:00:00 EESTPress release

IDEMIA’s algorithms have been awarded the top rank amongst all studied companies in the IREX 10: Identification Track of the NIST benchmark assessing iris recognition performance for identification. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200406005250/en/ (Photo: Business Wire) IDEMIA, the global leader in Augmented Identity, confirms its leadership position on the biometric identification market by proving the best one eye accuracy in iris recognition. Iris identification systems allows us to search users against a database of enrolled credentials and return their proper identities when matched. Jean-Christophe Fondeur, CTO of IDEMIA, stated: “The results of IREX 10 confirm IDEMIA's leadership in biometric research since the early 1980s, and the expertise of IDEMIA's teams in this field. Ranking first in iris recognition once more shows how advanced our technology is. We are proud to have been among the main contribu

FOSSID and BearingPoint Enter Strategic Partnership Around Open Source Software Governance6.4.2020 10:00:00 EESTPress release

FOSSID, a leader in open source software compliance and security, and BearingPoint, a leader in open source management services, today announced their strategic partnership around free and open source software governance. After successfully cooperating in selected projects for more than two years, BearingPoint decided to choose FOSSID as its strategic provider of open source analysis tools. FOSSID’s technology provides high performance and accuracy in the code analysis services performed by BearingPoint. Whenever companies need to embrace free and open source software for speed of innovation, standardization, or quality, BearingPoint Business Services is there to efficiently help reduce risk and improve productivity. “Partnering with FOSSID helps us provide more value to our customers with higher speed and better accuracy,” says Donald Wachs, Head of BearingPoint Business Services. “Using FOSSID technology, we typically see more precise results with less redundancy, and we can speed up

SPIE Photonics Europe Digital Forum Set to Launch With Over 700 Presentations6.4.2020 09:00:00 EESTPress release

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, will be holding its inaugural Digital Forum during the week of 6-10 April. SPIE Photonics Europe 2020, which was set to run in Strasbourg, France, from 29 March to 2 April, will now be held completely online via a virtual and interactive format. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200405005011/en/ SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, will be holding its inaugural Digital Forum during the week of 6-10 April. (Graphic: Business Wire) The SPIE digital forum platform was developed in response to the inability to hold in-person conferences due to the global spread of COVID-19. The forums ensure the timely continuation of information exchange and discussion opportunities that the Society’s optics and photonics community values and relies on to advance research, product development, and collaborations. SPIE Photonics Europe Digital Forum, an e

GSMA Condemns Attacks Against Mobile Phone Masts5.4.2020 16:11:00 EESTPress release

Police and counter-terrorism authorities are investigating acts of arson against mobile phone masts in the UK. The GSMA condemns these acts of violence designed to weaken our communications networks in a time of crisis. Our vision at the GSMA is to unlock the power of connectivity so that people, industry and society thrive. We must unite in the global fight against COVID-19 and combat the fake news and violent actions linking 5G communications technology to the spread of the virus. This disinformation campaign is inciting fear, aggression, and vandalism against the critical infrastructure and essential maintenance workers who are keeping our public services connected, as well as our economy running. England’s National Medical Director Stephen Powis has been widely reported in the media as saying, “The 5G story is complete and utter rubbish, it’s nonsense, it’s the worst kind of fake news.” The GSMA calls on internet giants, content providers and social media platforms to accelerate th

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