The GSM Association (GSMA), the leading representative body for network operators across the globe and host for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, has called for governments to support the rollout of mobile broadband services to drive economic growth.
Flanked by nine network operator chief executives, the GSMA stated the mobile industry is recording good growth, princially through mobile broadband sales in the west, and was in a position to boost the global economy provided it was not held up by funding and regulation.
It claimed the mobile industry is one of few elements within the private sector currently capable of providing an economic stimulus. Along with leading network chiefs, it requested governments see their ways clear to encourage investment and free the industry of unnecessary regulation.
However, it was claimed growth in telecoms, including in both mobile and fixed broadband, is threatening capacity of data spectrum.
The last telecoms licences, the 3G auction, cost network operators across the planet billions of pounds. Network operators claimed auction of further licences would cost them invaluable funding in R&D and technology, and slow growth significantly.
Ericsson president and chief executive Carl Henric Svanberg said: “Mobile broadband is essential for socio-economic growth and,with LTE the industry has for the first time a true global standard.”
GSMA chairman and VimpelCom chief Alexander Izosimov said: “Governments may be tempted to do it [put up spectrum for auction again], but in the long term it will not help. We are pleading with the governments not to squeeze money from us.”
He requested the European Commission go easy with regulatory inrtervention, which has seen large sums wiped from network revenues in recent times: “We need less regulation,” he said.
“We need to maintain our cashflow because with out it their is no investment.”