Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Study on "spectrum harmonization"

You might find this report interesting, written at the behest of the European Commission by the consultancy Booz Allen and Hamilton. In case you're wondering what they mean by "harmonization", you might find this definition helpful:
Harmonisation in this study means defining technical conditions, including spectrum, band plan and technology, at a global and regional level, to ensure efficient spectrum use, seamless services over wide areas including roaming, system co-existence and global circulation of user equipments across borders.

Then again, maybe not ...

Not suprisingly, they find benefits in harmonizing spectrum, though others would argue that a free market approach confers more benefits on the end users in the end. They present some data, like SMS use, to bolster their argument. To me, this is a misuse of the data, since they fail to mention that SMS use is higher in Europe in large part because of high per-minute costs. Similarly, they show rapid growth in mobile usage ... if they are counting telephone numbers in use, they may not account for the fact that many people in Europe have multiple SIM cards to avoid high roaming costs.

Nonetheless, this paper is useful to read ... parts of it do a pretty good job of laying out the issues and at least they are attempting to address the question with some data ... how refreshing!

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