Friday, May 25, 2012

GSMA Comments on Saudi Spectrum

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should release internationally harmonised band plans of 140 MHz of spectrum at 2.6 GHz and at least 60 MHz of digital dividend spectrum at 800 MHz, according to the GSMA. A report from the GSMA finds that if the Saudi government were to release internationally harmonised spectrum in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands, the Kingdom would stand to benefit from a total GDP gain of SAR358 billion(1) (US$95.5 billion) in net present value terms over the period 2013 to 2025. The study also predicts direct and indirect creation of jobs for 424,000 people by 2020. The report also found that any delay in the release of this harmonised spectrum beyond 2013 would have a significant impact on these benefits. For example, a five-year delay in the release of harmonised spectrum would reduce the total GDP gain over 2013 – 2025 to just SAR96 billion (US$26 billion) and reduce the number of jobs created to 75,000.

"The current spectrum allocation for LTE in KSA, in the 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz bands, follows a completely non-harmonised arrangement, and as a result, will not deliver the benefits made possible by allocating harmonised spectrum in the 800 MHz and the 2.6 GHz bands," said Peter Lyons, Director of Spectrum Policy, Africa and Middle East, GSMA. "The continuation of the current arrangement will have a detrimental impact on coverage across rural areas, in-building penetration and high-capacity connectivity for KSA's largest cities."