Radio Spectrum

High Cost Of Spectrum Leaves Millions Unconnected In Africa -GSMA Report

According to a new report by the GSMA, the negative impacts of the high cost of spectrum on consumers can no longer be disregarded.

The GSMA released the report titled ‘The Impact of Spectrum Prices on Consumers’ at the ITU Telecom World 2019.
The report confirms that countries that have poor spectrum policies which inflate spectrum or delay spectrum assignments are causing millions of people to be left unable to get mobile broadband services or experiencing poor network quality.

Brett Tarnutzer, the Head of Spectrum at GSMA declared that spectrum auctions can no longer be viewed as cash cows. He said that any government that prices spectrum to maximise their revenue would now do so with the full knowledge that its actions would have negative implications on citizens and on the development of mobile services.
Tarnutzer added that the evidence is clear that by restricting the financial ability of operators in order to invest in mobile networks, millions of users are suffering.

The GSMA study is among the first to provide evidence that directly links high spectrum prices to adverse consumer outcomes like slow network rollout and reduced quality of service.

The key findings for the period analysed in both developed and developing countries include evidence that high spectrum costs played a critical role in slowing the rollout of 4G networks, spectrum prices in developing countries were roughly almost three times more expensive than in developed countries and that the timing of spectrum awards had a significant impact on mobile coverage.

Brett Tarnutzer concluded that if the alarming trend of expensive auctions is not reversed, this would have damaging consequences for the consumers and ultimately, the development of the African digital economy.

Credit: This article originated from

Share this post