Socio-Economic Impact of Alternative Spectrum Assignment Approaches in Latin America

15 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2015

See all articles by Raul L. Katz

Raul L. Katz

The Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI)

Fernando Beltrán

University of Auckland

Date Written: July 13, 2015


It has been argued that the construction and expansion of broadband networks and the development of broadband-based services generates a positive effect on economic growth as measured by GDP growth, affecting the income of consumers and the productivity of businesses. The essential input to the exploitation of mobile broadband is the radio spectrum. Being a scarce resource, its allocation and eventual assignment by telecommunications regulator and spectrum authorities across the world is of outmost importance. The most popular approach to spectrum assignment is to run an auction where frequency bands get assigned over a fairly large time horizon; this feature of spectrum assignment plays a role in shaping the mobile telecommunications markets and may foreclose the emergence of alternative, plausibly more efficient, new modes of spectrum utilization. The paper’s objective is to demonstrate that conventional spectrum assignment processes (based on auctioning of single use licenses) can be enriched with other approaches, such as reserving portion of spectrum to unlicensed use. The methodology explores alternative spectrum assignment scenarios (fully based on licenses and mixed) for a Latin American country, and quantifying their impact in terms of achieving coverage in rural and isolated areas, as well as promoting technological innovation.

Keywords: Mobile broadband, Spectrum, Latin America, Rural coverage

JEL Classification: L96, H43, O18

Suggested Citation

Katz, Raul L. and Beltrán, Fernando, Socio-Economic Impact of Alternative Spectrum Assignment Approaches in Latin America (July 13, 2015). Proceedings of the 9th CPRLatam Conference, Cancun, July 13-14th, 2015. Available at SSRN:

Raul L. Katz (Contact Author)

The Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) ( email )

535 W 116th St.
New York, NY 10027
United States
0012128544222 (Phone)
0012128541471 (Fax)

Fernando Beltrán

University of Auckland ( email )

12 Grafton Rd
Private Bag 92019
Auckland, 1010
New Zealand
+64 9 9237850 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics