Policymakers and telecommunications regulators seek to maximise the benefits of spectrum use for society, ensuring efficient use of a scarce resource. By adhering to international standards and regulatory best practices, they can create an environment for the mobile sector that fosters service innovation, long-term commercial investment and healthy competition that serves the interests of consumers.
Liberalisation of the telecommunications sector was one of the fundamental policy shifts that began in the 1980s and led to the explosion of telecom services worldwide. The mobile industry benefited from light-touch regulation and a market-based regime based on competition. This environment is one of the main factors that led to nearly ubiquitous mobile service and affordable access. As a result, mobile has become the biggest consumer technology of all time.
Regulatory stability and transparency has a direct bearing on companies’ long-term planning and investment choices. Without relative certainty about a government’s spectrum road map and regulatory rules — for issues such as spectrum licence renewal, taxation or coverage obligations — mobile operators may be left with no choice but to delay investment, which in turn can delay the provision of mobile services to consumers.