Asia-Pacific countries that back a regional plan for harmonization of mobile broadband spectrum in the 700-MHz band stand to gain up to $1 trillion in GDP growth in the next eight years, whilst even the slightest delay will cost them dearly, according to a new report released Monday.
The study, conducted by Boston Consulting Group and commissioned by the GSM Association, claims that the plan proposed by the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) to harmonize the allocation of digital-dividend spectrum is the ticket to unlocking a collective $1 trillion in GDP growth between 2014 and 2020.
That figure includes the potential to create 2.7 million new jobs, support 1.4 million new businesses (to include new departments, units or business areas within existing firms) and increase government revenues by $171 billion, the report says.
However, the GSMA says that time is of the essence – governments who wait until 2015 to implement the APT plan risk losing over $40 billion of incremental GDP growth across the region, and up to half a million fewer jobs being created.
“Non-compliant countries would see 5% less economic gain, 30% less job growth, 30% less new business and 18% less government revenue,” said Chris Perera, senior director for Spectrum Policy & Regulatory Affairs at the GSMA.
Countries that don’t adopt the APT plan would also impact neighboring countries that do, costing them up to 3% of GDP growth, up to 10% of job creation, up to 11% of new business growth and up to 12% government revenue, she adds.
A key element there is the issue of cross-border interference, which Perera says will be a problem for countries that use digital-dividend spectrum for different purposes.
“If you have a situation where one country uses 700-MHz for LTE, and a neighboring country uses it strictly for TV broadcasting or military radar, for example, that could cause service degradation for people within a hundred kilometers on either side of the border because its not aligned,” she told Telecomasia.net.