Socio-Economic Impact of Alternative Spectrum Assignment Approaches in Latin America
15 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2015
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: Suggested Citation