The Impacts of Licensed Shared Use of Spectrum

Shared spectrum can complement, but not replace, the need for exclusive-access spectrum for mobile broadband. That was the conclusion of a GSMA report on “The Impacts of Licensed Shared Use of Spectrum”, published in February 2014.


The report shows the potential economic benefits derived from spectrum sharing are ultimately lower than those achieved through exclusive-access spectrum. In Europe, the release of new exclusive licensed spectrum in the 2.3GHz could add €86 billion to the European economy over the period 2016-2030, while that figure could be reduced to to €70 billion or as low as €5 billion if licenses are shared, due to a lack of common approach in spectrum allocation across the Member States, combined with significant geographic and timing exclusions as well as potential contracting limitations. The equivalent figures for the US are €192 billion for exclusive licenses in the 3.5GHz band and €155 billion or as little as €5 billion for shared licenses for that timeframe.  The study also found that releasing more exclusive-access spectrum for mobile broadband could create approximately 2.1 and 1.6 million jobs in the US and EU respectively in the 2016-2013.


In addition, there are risks, complexities and uncertainties involved with spectrum sharing, which require a case-by-case evaluation.


The GSMA commends efforts by regulators around the world to rapidly find a solution for the current spectrum crunch,” said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. “While sharing schemes could provide a complementary approach to ease rapidly growing demand for spectrum, exclusive access to spectrum for mobile use is the optimal regulatory approach, providing the necessary market certainty to stimulate investments in networks and services.”

To access the report please visit: