The global operators’ group, the GSMA, has called on Asian governments to make available old analog broadcast spectrum for mobile broadband services.
It says that turning “digital dividend” frequencies over to mobile could increase Asia-Pacific GDP by $729 billion and tip $131 billion in taxes into government coffers by 2020.
A report by the association and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has called on all Asia-Pacific countries to allocate the 700MHz band to mobile broadband.
By implementing LTE with an identical 2 x 45 MHz spectrum plan, every country in the region would benefit from economies of scale, the report said.
Failure to harmonize would “significantly reduce these benefits for the entire region, so it’s imperative that governments and regulators take a coordinated approach to spectrum allocation,” said Tom Phillips, GSMA’s head of regulatory affairs.
Non-harmonized spectrum would also mean higher prices, limited access to critical services and significantly reduced connectivity for millions of people, he said.
A harmonized approach would mean a large incremental adoption of internet connectivity, especially in rural areas, the report said. Broadband takeup is expected to increase 21% in India, 22% in Indonesia and 23% in Malaysia by 2020.