By Roger Field
Trade body for GSM operators appeals for stable regulation for mobile broadband at G20 summit
The GSMA used the recent G20 summit to highlight the economic benefits of mobile broadband, and appealed to world leaders to release the necessary spectrum and create a “stable, predictable and minimally intrusive regulatory environment” for the technology.
In an open letter to G20 leaders, senior management from 26 telecom operators and vendors, including Zain and MTN Group, called for improved regulation and the allocation of radio spectrum to pave the way for the deployment of mobile broadband services around the world.
The operators said that mobile broadband had the ability to reap enormous economic benefits and that the mobile industry was ready to support governments to stimulate sustainable economic recovery.
“The deployment of mobile broadband could create 25 million jobs around the globe and be financed by private capital. This boost to the global economy at this critical time will also enable widespread internet access, stimulating significant productivity enhancements and social benefits,” the operators said.
The letter highlighted recent research from AT Kearney indicating that the mobile industry was forecast to invest $800 billion during the next five years, of which $550 billion was earmarked for mobile broadband.
But the operators warned that these benefits could be lost if governments failed to introduce the right regulation or allocate the required radio spectrum.
“The business case for mobile broadband is highly dependent on regulatory policies. In recent times we have experienced a trend of increasing regulatory intervention, often where this is not appropriate,” the operators said in the letter.
“We therefore ask the G20 leaders to consider the vital contribution that mobile technology can make to global economic recovery and recognize the importance of these key enabling actions by government.”
Robert Conway, CEO, GSMA, said: “We are not asking the G20 governments to make a short-term decision. This represents the broad-reaching opportunity to truly connect the world’s population to the internet, and to the economic and social benefits that delivers.”