Twenty-five bosses of the world’s top mobile companies have signed a letter delivered to leaders of the G20 nations yesterday, pledging to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in mobile broadband development globally – a move they claim could create 25 million jobs and help lift the world out of recession – in return for a more stable regulatory environment and allocation of new spectrum. Signatories include the CEO’s of AT&T, Bharti, Deutsche Telekom, MTN, Orascom, Telefonica, Telecom Italia and Vodafone, as well as vendors Nokia and Ericsson. The initiative is spearheaded by the GSMA.
The signatories say they are prepared to spend US$550 billion of private capital to build mobile broadband networks, potentially boosting global GDP by 3-4 percent over five years. However, the industry argues that the plan requires two key enabling actions from the G20 governments; a commitment to allocate the radio spectrum needed over time to build these new networks, and delivery of a stable, predictable and minimally intrusive regulatory environment. “We therefore ask the G20 leaders to consider the vital contribution that mobile technology can make to global economic recovery and recognise the importance of these key enabling actions by government,” concludes the letter. “The mobile industry stands ready to support the efforts of governments to stimulate sustainable economic recovery, through its unique ability to invest in long-term productivity enhancing technology that is also a powerful catalyst for entrepreneurial investment, social capital, low carbon development and digital inclusion.”