“The finance minister has stars in his eyes!”

Some spectrum licences are also licences for governments to print money.

| Martin Sims

However, in the century or more of commercial usage of the airwaves, that is a relatively recent development.

It started with the enormous sums paid for mobile licences in the 1990s, and for some, this is an enchantment which has beguiled and distracted policy-makers ever since—hence the title of this blog. The quote comes from an anecdote in the third episode of our Spectrum 101 Podcast: Successes and failures of spectrum liberalisation.

It features two economics professors with great expertise in the spectrum field, Martin Cave and Gerard Pogorel. They discuss the usefulness of market mechanisms for implementing the wider range of policy goals associated with spectrum management, ranging from competition to universal service and economic growth.

All the episodes are open-access and available on the leading podcasting platforms. You can also listen to the podcast on YouTube here.


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