2nd Asia-Pacific Spectrum Management Conference

Bangkok, Thailand
24 April 2016 - 26 April 2016
Hosted By: Forum Global

NERA Senior Consultant Hans-Martin Ihle chaired two sessions during the 2nd Annual Asia-Pacific Spectrum Management Conference, which provides a high-level meeting point for stakeholders across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond to discuss topical issues relating to the management and co-ordination of spectrum policy. The conference offers an examination of best practices in spectrum management across the board. Mr. Ihle presented on the topics “Allocating the 700 MHz band – current status & approaches” and “Spectrum Auctions, Awards and Valuation: Best practice for a competitive, sustainable and innovative market.”

During the session on the 700 MHz band, Mr. Ihle discussed how the potential of this band can be released in Asia. The adoption of the APT 700 MHz band plan is high, which should provide good economies of scale for the emerging ecosystem. Mr. Ihle warned that prices of this ideal coverage spectrum may fall short of the already high expectations across the region and highlighted that simply maximizing revenues would not release the potential of this band in terms of connecting rural areas. For example, in Europe regulators used the digital dividend to improve coverage and fill white spots by attaching coverage obligations to licenses. Mr. Ihle then provided an overview of how coverage obligations can be incorporated into auction design.

As a moderator of the session on auction design, Mr. Ihle summarized the significant advantages of running auctions rather than “beauty contests,” including efficiency, transparency, and identifying a market price for a scarce resource. He demonstrated that there is a clear move towards market-based mechanisms across the region and highlighted the significant potential to learn from each other, using as case studies the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz auctions in Thailand and the upcoming multiband auction in Singapore.

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