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Analysys Mason's new research programme looks at how new technologies will affect the value of spectrum

(PresseBox) (London, UK, ) Changes in technology and the increasing availability of spectrum mean that determining a value for spectrum used for mobile broadband services is becoming more difficult for operators and regulators alike, according to Terry Norman, Principal Analyst and lead analyst for the new Spectrum research programme launched by Analysys Mason (www.analsysymason.com).

The choice that operators now have - with spectrum from the IMT expansion band at 2.6GHz, refarmed spectrum in the 850, 900 and 1800MHz bands and digital dividend spectrum - along with spectrum capping at auctions and increasing network sharing between operators have all contributed to a more complicated decision-making process.

Furthermore, cognitive technologies designed to exploit white-space spectrum could make the notion that any user of spectrum has exclusive access to the spectrum redundant.

The problem that regulators face is similarly challenging - not least of all how this will affect consultation processes on future spectrum awards, auction reserve prices, socioeconomic benefits etc.

"The value of spectrum has never been particularly easy to determine. It depends on many variables that can be described collectively as the technical, commercial and strategic factors. Ten years ago, valuing spectrum was more straightforward, compared with today," explains Norman. "A single lot of spectrum became available at a particular frequency and an operator estimated the value and knowing its budget entered into the auction."

However, explains Norman, in the last four years operators in a number of countries have paid a range of prices for similar spectrum (figure available on request showing average spectrum prices paid). The prices that operators are prepared to pay for spectrum vary enormously.

"With greater choice of spectrum, innovations like white space and the advance of technology may undermine the concept that spectrum is an asset, so the difficulty in valuing spectrum is only set to get worse," adds Norman.

Analysys Mason's new research programme will examine a range of issues and challenges including valuing spectrum, the impact of technology on auctions, the future of the concept of a licence to exclusive transmission and much more.

The Spectrum research programme will also provide a tracker of past auctions, including prices paid per MHZ per person, bandwidth and auction winners; and details of forthcoming auctions.

For more information on our new research programme, visit: http://www.analysysmason.com/Research/Programmes/Spectrum/

Analysys Mason

Analysys Mason delivers strategy advice, operations support, and market intelligence worldwide to leading commercial and public-sector organisations in telecoms, IT, and media. Analysys Mason consistently delivers significant and sustainable business benefits. We are respected worldwide for the exceptional quality of our work, our independence and the flexibility of our teams in responding to client needs. The company has over 250 staff in 12 offices worldwide. Our headquarters are in London and we have a presence in Cambridge, Dubai, Dublin, Edinburgh, Madrid, Manchester, Milan, New Delhi, Paris, Singapore and Washington DC.