Press release: Spectrum sharing is vital to reap the benefits of using 700 MHz for mobile
Oct 19, 2012 by Martin Sims


TagsBlog, Broadcasting, Digital dividend, Mobile, Wireless broadband

Releasing a second tranche of TV spectrum for mobile use in EMEA could have unexpected impacts on associated sectors like advertising, broadcasting, web services and the tablets and e-reader markets, according to a new report from PolicyTracker

The case for reallocating further TV spectrum to mobile phones is “irresistible”,(1) according to a leading figure in the European decision making process, but what would this second digital dividend mean for the existing mobile market and for associated fields such as broadcasting, mobile devices, component manufacturing? What will be the impact on regulation in general?

The Strategic Implications of the Second Digital Dividend report, written by Simon Forge and Colin Blackman, highlights the enormous amount of spectrum required for LTE, the next generation of mobile technologies. The rollout of these 4G technologies is being delayed by the lack of available spectrum, hence the worldwide interest in using the lower UHF range often used for television. (See )

To explore the impacts and the various forces for change – including consumer behaviour,  speed of adoption and the vitally important reaction of incumbents – the report adopts a unique methodology, constructing three scenarios to examine possible futures.  

Its conclusions include: 

  • The full benefits of the Second Digital Dividend can only be realised if the key players also make a major change in working cultures and embrace spectrum sharing
  • Spectrum release could have major impacts on the TV and radio industry, advertising and the growth of web services
  • The Second Digital Dividend could see closer financial ties between broadcasters and mobile companies 
  • Access to these new frequencies could accelerate mobile operators’ move from network operators to service providers, with the revenue from calls and text eventually disappearing
  • In some scenarios auction revenues from spectrum sales could fall dramatically
  • Broadcaster’s concerns about releasing spectrum could be allayed by the development of the tablet market
  • The release of the digital dividend offers surprising benefits for Europe’s technology and web services industry, in particular the ailing handset manufacturers. 


The three scenarios of Strategic Implications of the Second Digital Dividend provide vital strategic guidance for mobile operators, broadcasters and manufacturers wanting to meet the challenges of the next decade.  

The three contrasting themes, based on the relative success of agreements about managing the spectrum, focus on the speed of change, the impacts of spectrum release, especially the degree of disruption in the current power balance in spectrum usage and ownership. Their implications are then closely examined in strategy and policy terms.


Notes for editors


(1) Comments by Roberto Viola, head of the EU Radio Spectrum Policy Group, referring to the 700 MHz band. See PolicyTracker 23.4.12 

(2) The report is written by experienced analysts – Simon Forge (SCF Associates Ltd) and Colin Blackman ( – who have led numerous research projects for the European Commission and blue chip companies.

(3) To speak to author Simon Forge please call Kate Milligan at PolicyTracker on :+44 20 7100 2875 or  email: kate.milligan [@]

(4) To find out more download the full brochure and table of contents here . Ordering uses this online form . For more information please call us on +44 (0)20 7100 2875 or email: reports [@]