Mobile Communications Policies and National Broadband Strategies in Developed and Developing Countries: Lessons, Policy Issues and Research Challenges

Posted: 12 Mar 2015

See all articles by Prabir K. Neogi

Prabir K. Neogi

Carleton University

Johannes M. Bauer

Michigan State University-Department of Media and Information

Date Written: March 11, 2015


The intelligent mobile phone has become the most widely used communications device in the world and the access device of choice in the developing world. The International Telecommunications Union's report "The World in 2014: ICT Facts and Figures" estimates that there were some 7 billion mobile service subscriptions by the end of 2014, corresponding to a global population of some 7.3 billion. Mobile cellular penetration rates stand at 96% globally, 121% in developed countries and 90% in developing countries.

There are now more than twice as many mobile broadband subscriptions as fixed ones. Mobile broadband communications requires an integration of wireless and wireline networks. Spectrum is the lifeblood of mobile communications services. As high-speed mobile Internet access becomes more readily available and affordable, intelligent mobile devices (e.g. smart phones, tablet computers, laptops) are being used widely for bandwidth-hungry applications, in business as well as for personal and social purposes. This means that the demand for additional spectrum bandwidth is likely to increase rapidly and outstrip the supply for the next few years. Issues and challenges related to spectrum allocation and management will become an important component of any national wireless broadband strategy.

This international panel will focus on the impact of the widespread penetration and use of the mobile phone and other more intelligent mobile devices, in both developing and developed countries. It will examine and compare the role that wireless access and mobile broadband play in various national and regional broadband strategies, and how mobile communications is integrated with the wireline component of such strategies. The Panellists, whose expertise covers various countries and regions as indicated, will discuss and compare strategies being used in developed countries like the US, Australia, New Zealand and the EU, and developing countries like Mexico, Brazil and India, among others.

The panel will examine and discuss issues such as: • What role does mobile broadband play in different national broadband strategies, and how is it integrated with the wireline component? • Other than efficiently allocating and managing the use of the spectrum, what other roles can governments and regulators play in enabling the continued growth of mobile telecommunications services? • Could/should revenues derived from spectrum auctions be used for targeted subsidies or other demand and • supply side initiatives? • Last but not least, what conceptual frameworks do researchers and policy-makers use when shaping communications policy? What is the role of "evidence" in shaping current approaches?

We wish to find out what has worked, what did not, the problems encountered and whether there are lessons to be learned that are of general applicability, as well as for particular countries. We wish to explore the possibilities and limitations of learning from other nations' and regions' experiences, identifying common policy challenges and medium term research requirements of interest to the TPRC community. Panel Co-Moderators:

Dr. PrabirNeogi, Visiting Fellow, Canada-India Centre for Excellence, Carleton University, Ottawa Prof. Johannes Bauer, Chairperson, Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University

Possible Panelists (and suggested areas of coverage):

Dr. Robert D. Atkinson, President, ITIF, Washington, or Prof. William Lehr, MIT, Cambridge [U.S. developments]

Prof. Eric Bohlin, Professor ofTechnology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and Chair of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS) [E.U. developments] Prof. Alison Gillwald, Director of Research ICT Africa (RIA) [Southern Africa] Prof. Judith Mariscal, Professor, Centro de Investigación y DocenciaEconomica (CIDE), Director of the Telecommunications Research Program Telecom-CIDE, and member of the Steering Committee of DIRSI [Latin America, Mexico & Brazil] Prof. Rekha Jain, Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) and Executive Chair of the IIMA-IDEA Telecom Centre of Excellence (IITCOE) [India] Prof. Catherine Middleton, Professor and Canada Research Chair, Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, Ryerson University, Toronto [Australia, New Zealand, Canada]

Contact Information (Panel Organizers/Moderators)

Dr. PrabirNeogi Visiting Fellow, Canada-India Centre for Excellence, Carleton University 1125 Colonel By Drive Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6 Tel: 613-520-2600 x 2595 (O), 613-746-2329 (R) Email: ,

Prof. Johannes Bauer Chairperson, Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University, Email:

Keywords: Mobile communications, National Broadband strategies

Suggested Citation

Neogi, Prabir K. and Bauer, Johannes M., Mobile Communications Policies and National Broadband Strategies in Developed and Developing Countries: Lessons, Policy Issues and Research Challenges (March 11, 2015). Available at SSRN:

Prabir K. Neogi (Contact Author)

Carleton University ( email )

1869 Stonehenge Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K1B4N7
6137462329 (Phone)

Johannes M. Bauer

Michigan State University-Department of Media and Information ( email )

409 Communication Arts Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1212
United States
517-355-8372 (Phone)
517-355-1292 (Fax)


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