In their desire for revenues and rents governments and politicians/officials are conflating the issuance of licenses for service provision and frequencies, for example with regard to 3G frequencies and WiMAX. For example, many countries have issued GSM 1800 frequencies to companies that already hold system or service-provision licenses and frequencies in the GSM 900 band without going through a formal licensing process, based on auctions, beauty contests, etc.
However, in most countries issuance of 3G frequencies has been based on the issuance of new system or service-provision licenses. Issuance of new system licenses for every new standard and application that requires new frequencies is costly in terms of scarce regulatory resources, opens up additional opportunities for extraction of rents (above and below the table) and introduces unnecessary uncertainties to the investment process.
The research question we ask and find possible answers to is where a reasonable boundary can be drawn between the issuance of additional frequencies to system operators and the issuance of new licenses.
This research was conducted by Mahesh Uppal and Payal Malik in 2009.
Citation for the above report should be done as: Author Last Name, First Name Initial, (2009), Report Name, Retrieved Date, URL of document on LIRNEasia website.