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ERG/RSPG Joint Session Göteborg, Sweden ‘Spectrum Policy for the Many Possible Futures of Broadband in Europe’ February 27 2008. Martin Cave Warwick Business School, UK The Issue is High Speed Broadband. Platform Endowments in Europe.

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ERG/RSPG Joint SessionGöteborg, Sweden‘Spectrum Policy for the Many Possible Futures of Broadband in Europe’February 27 2008

Martin Cave

Warwick Business School, UK


platform endowments in europe
Platform Endowments in Europe

2F + W Upgraded cable system, ubiquitous DSL, 3G networks (30-40%)

F + W (Near) ubiquitous DSL, 3G (50-60%)

W Wireless only- 2G/3G (3-8%)


what triggers nga investment
What Triggers NGA Investment?
  • Revenue loss to current competitors
  • Fear of pre-emption by rival NGA
  • Regulatory certainty (cf. Australian approach)
  • Prospect of adequate (non truncated) return


key issue for regulators
Key Issue for Regulators

How many competitors are enough?

  • 2F + wireless (US generally, WBA in Malta)
  • ≥ 4 (Ofcom WBA notification)


intermediate regulation in the absence of effective competition
Intermediate Regulation in the Absence of Effective Competition

Access with

  • higher cost of capital
  • pricing flexibility
  • limitations on capacity of mandated service (basic or ‘anchor’ product only)
  • limitations on PoI- but the ‘ladder’ may be broken.


the role of wireless
The Role of Wireless

Uncertainty about future capabilities

Competitive platforms:

  • LTE (long term evolution)
  • WiMax
  • UMB (ultra mobile broadband)

Whether it is the only option or a competitive constraint, wireless opportunities must be maximised.


making spectrum available on flexible basis
Making Spectrum Available on Flexible Basis
  • Minimum restrictions on existing assignments
  • Refarming regimes to minimise downtime
  • Licensing of additional spectrum as quickly as possible, without restrictions on use
  • Minimising impediments to trade and change of use
  • Consider synchronising transactions- the ‘big bang’






The UK Frequency Allocations 20XX?

Not Allocated


Not Allocated

Not Allocated

Not Allocated

Not Allocated

300 GHz


the contribution of the public sector
The contribution of the public sector
  • Public sector users account for about half use of ‘beachfront spectrum’ in the EU
  • Typically, they- especially defence ministries- are subject to little scrutiny
  • Option 1-encourage spectrum release by monetary incentives and spectrum pricing
  • Option 2-make them part of the market system , as buyers or (more plausibly) sellers
  • see


what level of harmonisation in the eu
What Level of Harmonisation in the EU?
  • Focus on harmonisation of spectrum management techniques, not harmonisation of spectrum use
  • De facto harmonisation will follow from manufacturer/operator interaction, subject to competition
  • EU power needed to harmonise tradable frequencies etc.
  • Digital dividend is a test case.