Mobile Value, Spectrum and Data Demand - A Bootstrap Approach

13 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2016

See all articles by Brian Williamson

Brian Williamson

Communications Chambers

Sam Wood

Plum Consulting

Date Written: June 22, 2016


This paper explores a bootstrap modelling approach to estimating the value of mobile, spectrum and data demand. A mobile data forecast is not required, since data growth is modelled endogenously. The approach also dispenses with the notion of a “spectrum crunch” since data demand responds to available capacity.

The results differ from those of an orthodox approach which treats data demand as exogenous and fixed (equivalent to assuming a data price elasticity of demand of zero). Spectrum value is less sensitive to supply side capacity assumptions; whilst economic surplus and spectrum value increase rather than decrease with reduced site costs - due to the stimulus to data traffic.

The approach enables policy options, via their impact on supply (costs) and demand (willingness to pay) and the competitive equilibrium to be estimated. A range of policy issues are explored including auction reserve prices and spectrum fees, a hypothetical mobile data tax, mobile cost reduction, mobile mergers and fixed-mobile substitution.

Keywords: Value of mobile, consumer surplus, spectrum value, data demand, spectrum crunch

JEL Classification: D40, K23, L50, L96, O33

Suggested Citation

Williamson, Brian and Wood, Sam, Mobile Value, Spectrum and Data Demand - A Bootstrap Approach (June 22, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Brian Williamson (Contact Author)

Communications Chambers ( email )

United Kingdom


Sam Wood

Plum Consulting ( email )

10 Fitzroy Square
London, W1T 5HP
United Kingdom


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