Governments and regulators must look at securing a longer term ROI on 5G rather than trying to cash in at auction, according to the GSMA

The GSMA has warned that government’s must resist the urge to use their 5G spectrum auction’s as cash cows, or risk dramatically impacting the rollout of next generation mobile network services. 

The GSMA states that by artificially inflating the cost of spectrum for short term financial gain, governments could be jeopardising the future profitability of their digital economies.  

“Auctions can and do fail when poorly designed,” said Brett Tarnutzer, head of spectrum at the GSMA. 

“We’re seeing a worrying trend of badly run spectrum awards that could seriously impact the potential of 5G before we get started. It’s time for policymakers to work more closely with stakeholders to enable more timely, fair and effective awards.”

To help guide governments and regulators on the dos and don’ts of the 5G spectrum auctioning process, the GSMA has today launched its "Auction Best Practice" paper. The GSMA estimates that 5G will have a socio-economic impact of $2.2 trillion over the next 15 years. It also predicts that by 2025, 5G will account for 30 per cent of all connections in key markets such as China and Europe.  

“This is crucial time in the development of 5G,” added Tarnutzer. 

“Spectrum is essential fuel for mobile networks and its ineffective use will only lead to bad consequences for consumers. The most important objective of awarding frequencies should not be about making the most money, but rather about ensuring consumers benefit from the best mobile connectivity.”

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