The GSMA Responds to RSPG Opinion on Additional spectrum needs
Mobile operators are partners with the governments to ensure good quality ICT infrastructure and are also trying to meet the demand from citizens and business for more data, speed, resilient networks, higher connectivity, flexibility, home connection and an overall improved customer experience.
According to the EC Communication “2030 Digital Compass: the European way for the Digital Decade” excellent and secure connectivity for everybody and everywhere in Europe is a prerequisite for a society in which every business and citizen can fully participate. Achieving gigabit connectivity by 2030 is key and this ambition can only be reached with a focus on 5G roll out, respect the 5G security toolbox and with future
technologies being developed in the years to come.
The introduction of 5G offers new opportunities that will provide significant benefits to citizens, businesses and the public sector. To fully realise this socio-economic potential, broad collaboration will be key.
To achieve this, Member States and Mobile operators must work together to find the best solutions based on an efficient spectrum policy: right amount of spectrum, at the right time, with the right conditions and at the right price.
In this respect, spectrum set-asides distort the level playing field and lead to artificial scarcity. 5G will require additional spectrum which should be made available without discrimination among all players and under the principle of technological neutrality.
Nationwide and exclusive licences have provided the certainty of access to spectrum, a critical component of mobile networks, to support huge investments in high quality, wide area mobile networks worldwide. This exclusive licensing approach has been central to connecting well over 5 billion people to mobile services worldwide. Where policymakers are looking to move away from this proven and successful approach, either in new licensing procedures or in licence renewals, they must provide an evidence-based explanation, which include a regulatory impact assessment/cost benefits analysis.
Mobile technologies continue to evolve to make the most efficient use of licensed spectrum to deliver better services to more people in more places. Licence obligations and conditions should be designed to minimise the cost of covering non-profitable areas and avoid distorting the award of spectrum. Regulators should avoid the inclusion of unreasonable obligations and conditions in spectrum licences to achieve certain objectives which in turn have an impact on the market and the value of the licences. The combination of public and private investments has proven to be an effective way to address the digital divide.
Low-bands (e.g. sub-1 GHz) support widespread coverage, including indoors, across urban, suburban and rural areas. Increased low-band capacity is required to create greater equality between urban and rural broadband connectivity and address the digital divide.