Shared mobile spectrum offers fewer benefits than exclusive access, warns GSMA

Shared mobile spectrum offers fewer benefits than exclusive access, warns GSMA

Sharing new mobile broadband wireless spectrum bands among different operators will fail to generate enough cash for economies, according to the mobile operators' trade body, The GSMA.

In a report published yesterday the GSMA said shared spectrum cannot replace the need for exclusive-access spectrum in the provision of mobile broadband.

The report, "The Impacts of Licensed Shared Use of Spectrum", highlights how ‘strict limitations’ associated with Licensed Shared Access (LSA)spectrum agreements - such as shorter terms, build obligations, lack of certainty and small allocations - can significantly reduce the likelihood of a mobile operator to invest.

The GSMA argued that this means that the potential economic benefits derived from spectrum sharing are ultimately lower than those achieved through exclusive-access spectrum.

To save on costs, UK mobile operators and others around the world already share infrastructure, like phone masts and cables in the ground linking those masts and some control centres.

But the GSMA claims it is not a good idea to share spectrum bands to deliver services to users.

‘The GSMA commends efforts by regulators around the world to rapidly find a solution for the current spectrum crunch,’ said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA (pictured).

‘While sharing schemes could provide a complementary approach to ease rapidly growing demand for spectrum, exclusive access to spectrum for mobile use is the optimal regulatory approach, providing the necessary market certainty to stimulate investments in networks and services.’


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