Spectrum Management and Licensing

Mobile data traffic continues to skyrocket and as the nascent Internet of Things industry grows, it too will place significant extra strain on mobile networks.

To meet this increasing demand, operators need access to sufficient, internationally harmonised spectrum. Here, effective spectrum licensing plays a key role, as it helps the industry attract the investment needed to further expand mobile access and enhance the quality and range of services offered.

The GSMA is very active at national, regional and global levels in advocating for the timely identification and release of more spectrum for mobile broadband. On this issue, we work with national governments and regulators, regional organisations and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Governments must also play their part in the development of mobile communications. Those that simply seek to maximise state revenues from spectrum pricing, for example, risk much greater costs to society if competition in communications markets is undermined and network investment is stifled as a result. To ensure widespread, high-quality affordable services, it is essential that a sufficient amount of spectrum is released for mobile use — especially digital dividend spectrum.

With the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) on the horizon, governments should build upon the foundations of WRC-15 to strengthen the future of mobile communications. In particular, emerging 5G technology offers enormous potential for both consumers and industry. Discussions about TV white space, which typically consists of unused spectrum in broadcasting bands, should not take focus away from these core issues.

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