Under the current uncertainty about future spectrum demand and given the high costs involved by releasing frequencies from broadcasting to mobile broadband, adopting early decisions on the reallocation of the 700 MHz band in Europe might not necessarily lead to a more efficient outcome, concludes Juan Delgado, Managing Director at GlobalEcon’s Madrid office in an article published this month at INFO (Reallocating the spectrum: Should we do it? Vol. 17 Iss: 1, pp. 9 – 21. January 2015).
The paper analyses the existing trade-offs involved by the so-called Second Digital Dividend, which implies the reallocation of the UHF spectrum band from broadcasting services to mobile communication services. The uncertainty on the future spectrum demand for mobile broadband, the impact on the future of digital television and the absence of data on current spectrum usage makes impossible to guarantee that such reallocation will imply a more efficient spectrum usage.
To guarantee a more efficient outcome, policymakers should first have a more accurate picture of the current use, explore alternative policy and technology options such us a better use of the public spectrum and promote secondary markets for spectrum trading.J
The paper comes at a timely moment when the European Commission has initiated a public consultation on the future use of the UHF TV broadcasting band.