The Australian newspaper reported earlier this week that the telcos were lobbying to gain access to the 700MHz spectrum earlier than the currently scheduled date of January 2015, after it is auctioned in 2013.
Nationwide access is dependent on complete shutdown of analogue TV services, which will not occur until late 2014. However the spectrum will be available earlier in many parts of the country.
According to the GSMA/BCG report "Asia Pacific is on the cusp of a significant opportunity to unlock $US1 trillion in GDP growth by 2020 through the harmonised adoption of the 700MHz spectrum band for mobile services...There is the potential to create 2.7 million new jobs, support 1.4 million new businesses1 and increase government revenues by $US171 billion.
Harmonised adoption would be frequency allocations based on a plan by the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT.
GSMA says: "For Asia Pacific to fully realise the $US1 trillion opportunity between 2014 and 2020, it is imperative there is no delay in spectrum allocation and deployment. Even a delay of one year, from 2014 to 2015, could result in a loss of more than $US40 billion of incremental GDP growth across the region, and a delay of two years from 2014 to 2016 could result in a loss of $US138 billion in GDP growth. A one-year or two-year delay could also result in up to 500,000 or 900,000 fewer jobs being created respectively."
However Australia and New Zealand have been singled out as two countries that have made early commitments to implement the "harmonised" APT 700MHz band plan, and a major problem of non-harmonisation - interference between networks in neighbouring countries - is not relevant.
The report notes "Asia Pacific countries that do not follow the APT band plan will cause interference up to 100 kilometres on both sides of their borders, also limiting their neighbours' ability to utilise their own spectrum to its maximum extent. Furthermore, this will increase the cost of mobile devices since these will need to be customised to work across differing spectrum bands."
The report claims that its findings are "Based on a rigorous and conservative proprietary methodology" It follows a 2010 report from GSMA and Boston Consulting Group on the social and economic benefits of allocating the 700 MHz band to mobile broadband in the Asia-Pacific region.
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