Asia-Pacific spectrum harmonisation could generate $1 trillion

Asia-Pacific spectrum harmonisation could generate $1 trillion

The Asia-Pacific region could generate $1 trillion in GDP through spectrum harmonisation for mobile broadband, according to research from telecoms organisation the GSMA and The Boston Consulting Group.

The GSMA said that through harmonised adoption of the 700MHz spectrum band for mobile services there is the potential to create 2.7 million jobs, support 1.4 million businesses and increase government revenues by $171 billion.

The spectrum harmonisation plan was first implemented in September 2010 by the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) with a number of countries already announcing their commitment or showing confidence in the scheme. These include Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand and Thailand, with Japan and Papua New Guinea recently awarding licences.

“To realise this immense potential, it is imperative that the region works together to swiftly implement the harmonised 700MHz band plan for mobile services,” said Chris Perera, senior director, spectrum policy & regulatory affairs, GSMA. “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.”

The GSMA said that it is “imperative” there is no delay in spectrum allocation and deployment. Stating that even a delay of one year from 2014 to 2015 could result in a loss of more than $40 billion of incremental GDP growth across the region. This figure increased to $138 billion if there was a two-year delay, at a loss of up to 900,000 jobs being created.

Countries which do not follow the APT plan could cause interference up to 100km on both sides of their borders, while also increasing the cost of mobile devices through the need to support differing spectrum bands, according to the GSMA.

Non-compliant countries would experience 5% less economic gain, 30% less job growth, 30% less new business and 17% less government revenue, with neighbouring non-compliant countries expected to lose up to 3% of GDP growth, up to 10% of job creation, up to 11% of new business growth and up to 12% of government revenue, according to the study.

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