The harmonised adoption of 700MHz spectrum for mobile broadband in the Asia-Pacific region could generate up to US$1 trillion in GDP growth between 2014 and 2020, according to the GSMA.
The allocation of the ‘digital dividend’ spectrum freed up by the switch from analogue to digital TV to mobile services could create 2.7 million new jobs, support 1.4 million new businesses and increase government revenues by US$171 billion, according to research carried out in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
GSMA senior director for spectrum policy and regulatory affairs, Chris Perera, said it is “imperative” for the region to work together to implement the harmonised 700MHz band for mobile services. “Rapid adoption and alignment would generate huge cost efficiencies in both network technology and devices, and ultimately make mobile services more accessible and affordable for consumers,” he said.
BCG partner Vaishali Rastogi added that the harmonisation of the spectrum “offers the potential to create a coherent ecosystem for LTE and allow manufacturers to quickly roll out standardised devices in multiple territories."
The networks of countries not following the harmonisation plan could interfere with networks up to 100km away from their borders, limiting the ability of neighbouring countries to fully take advantage of the spectrum.
As a result, countries next to non-compliant countries could lose up to 3 percent of GDP growth, up to 10 percent in job creation, 11 percent in new business growth and up to 12 percent in government revenue, according to the research. Non-compliant countries would experience 5 percent less economic growth, 30 percent fewer jobs and new businesses created and 18 percent less government revenue.
According to the GSMA, it’s imperative that there is no delay in the allocation and deployment of the spectrum, as a delay of just one year could result in the loss of US$40 billion in incremental GDP growth for the region.
The plan to adopt the harmonised spectrum was first mooted by the Asia Pacific Telecommunity in September 2010 and numerous countries have announced their commitment or shown confidence in the plan.