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Western Europe spectrum revenues to hit €20bn by 2015

06 декабря 2011

Revenues generated by spectrum auctions taking place in Western Europe will reach approximately €20 billion between 2011 and 2015, according to KPMG.

More spectrum will be auctioned in Europe over the next three-to-four years than has been auctioned during the last decade, the consultancy predicted last week. Of the €20 billion expected to be raised, two thirds will come from the sell-off of digital dividend airwaves in the 700 MHz and 800 MHz bands, due to be freed up by the switch from analogue to digital TV frequencies.

"Today's operators remain willing to pay substantial sums for radio spectrum," said Benoit Reillier, director of economics and regulation at KPMG. "However, the outcome of what are increasingly complex spectrum allocations will, in my view, continue to remain uncertain for several months to come due to myriad issues that need to be negotiated."

According to KPMG's Radio Spectrum Monitor, the average price per MHz per capita in Western Europe was €0.87 between 1999 and 2010, compared to €0.90 in North America. Asia-Pacific (€0.34), Central and Eastern Europe (€0.22) and Latin America (€0.12) were all significantly lower. Conversely, the price per MHz per capita in the Middle East and Africa was higher at €1.22, which KPMG attributed to a lack of fixed-line networks driving the demand for mobile services and ergo the price of spectrum.

"The question of affordability of spectrum is particularly critical given the current pressure on operators' cash flows," said Reillier.

In its new report, KPMG highlighted the balance that regulators need to strike by valuing spectrum so that it generates sufficient income for governments but is also attractive to operators, which have to generate a return on investment in both a licence and a new network while ensuring their services are affordable and competitively priced.

"Many governments will be eyeing up spectrum auctions as a way to raise some sought after revenue," said Reillier. "While it might not make a structural difference to the level of deficit in many countries it will certainly go some way towards European governments' garnering of more cash in the short to medium term."

"Mobile operators need to understand the policies and mechanisms put in place by their country's government and regulator for the allocation of spectrum since the way the auctions are designed will have a critical impact on the prices they have to pay," he added.


Источник: Total Telecom

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