More mobile broadband spectrum needed for APAC economic growth

GSMARising demand for broadband will spur economies in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC).

According to a new GSMA report, increased broadband connections in APAC will generate US$1.2 trillion of GDP growth and create up to 35 million new jobs by 2020.

However, this opportunity can only be realised if governments act now to fully release existing harmonised mobile spectrum bands and allocate more spectrum for mobile to meet rising consumer demand and support the development of new mobile services in the longer term.

The study, “Today, Tomorrow and the Future – Managing Data Demand in Asia Pacific”, was developed by Analysys Mason with global analysis from Huawei.

“As this new report highlights, there is an urgent need for regulators across APAC and around the world to assign further mobile spectrum to enable the penetration rates and social and economic benefits promised, while avoiding interference along country borders,” said David Wang, President of Huawei Wireless Networks.

The findings of the report are further supported by GSMA’s spectrum estimation model, which predicts a global shortfall of mobile spectrum of between 600 to 800MHz.

In particular, GSMA’s model finds that there is insufficient spectrum available in APAC to meet predicted future mobile traffic growth and support planned advances in technology.

This latest report shows that faster-than-expected growth in both mobile data subscribers in China, using 3G and 4G networks, is set to result in almost 15,000 petabytes of data per year being carried on China’s mobile networks by 2019. This is about 25 per cent of total traffic forecasted for APAC and a compound annual growth rate of more than 55 per cent between now and 2019.

Based on a number of third-party estimates, the report also highlighted that a 10 percent rise in broadband connections leads to between 0.26 and 0.92 percent increase in GDP and that for every extra 1,000 broadband connections, 33 new jobs are created.

“The negotiations at WRC-15 in Geneva next November provide a unique opportunity for leaders in APAC to support the next generation of mobile networks and services,” said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer of GSMA.

“We urge governments to make a clear and strong call for significantly more spectrum for mobile, to promote the future growth of their countries’ digital economies and to enhance the lives of their citizens through widespread access to digital services and, hence, greater social inclusion,” he added.

More on the report at

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