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November 6, 2012

Economic value of UK spectrum worth more than £52bn: Analysys Mason

Mobile services account for nearly 60% of this spectrum value, while broadcasting accounts for about 20%

By CBR Staff Writer

The economic value of spectrum use in the UK has grown 25% since 2006 to £52bn in 2011, according to a study by the consultancy firm Analysys Mason.

According to the study mobile services account for nearly 60% of this spectrum value, while broadcasting accounts for about 20%.

Other sectors included the use of Wi-Fi which is used as a substitute for mobile broadband, microwave links, satellite links and private mobile radio.

The study, ‘Impact of radio spectrum on the UK economy and factors influencing future spectrum demand’, was commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The study assesses value of spectrum use to the country’s economy as the country preparing to auction 4G spectrum due next year.

It also studies the key changes in spectrum use and requirements that can be expected by 2020 and the implications for policy-making, including the UK Government’s plan to release 500MHz of spectrum from public-sector use for commercial use by 2020.

The study also found that public mobile communications supports a supply chain of infrastructure, equipment, applications and content providers generating revenues of around £20bn.

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Public mobile communications supports about 75, 000 jobs, while broadcasting services support a supply chain worth around £16bn per year and support 40, 000 jobs, the study found.

Analysys Mason senior manager and lead author of the report Philip Bates said, the ongoing market, technical and commercial trends all point towards continued growth in the public mobile sector, suggesting its importance to the UK economy will continue to increase.

"The licence-exempt sector (including Wi-Fi, RFID and M2M (Machine-to-Machine)) applications and many more uses of short-range devices) is becoming increasingly diverse, and innovators are emerging in the UK offering new ways to deliver licence-exempt services," Bates said.

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