Mobile industry calls for more spectrum to beat recession

Mobile operators and vendors have come together to call for G20 leaders to provide more spectrum to help end the global recession.

The group, which includes AT&T Mobile, Vodafone, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens, has also called for a minimally intrusive regulatory environment to encourage mobile broadband investment.

The group says governments should ensure that 25% of the spectrum made available by the switchover from analog to digital television is allocated to mobile operators.

The GSMA and the 24 signatories last week wrote a letter to G20 leaders outlining their case ahead of the summit. 

"We"&brkbar; ask the G20 leaders to consider the vital contribution that mobile technology can make to global economic recovery and recognize the importance of these key enabling actions by government," the letter reads.

If more spectrum is made available, the mobile industry is forecast to invest $800 billion during the next five years, with $550 billion earmarked for mobile broadband, the letter says. "As mobile broadband repeats the productivity revolution of mobile phones, the global GDP impact could be a boost of 3-4%."

Mobile broadband also has the potential to create 25 million jobs worldwide, enable low carbon IT solutions that can cut at least 15% of total carbon emissions by 2020, and revolutionize sectors such as healthcare and education, it said.

"We are not asking the G-20 governments to make a short-term decision. This represents the broad-reaching opportunity to truly connect the world's population to the Internet, and to the economic and social benefits that delivers," GSMA CEO  Robert Conway said.

The letter's signatories come from across the industry with the exception of China - not a single Chinese carrier or vendor has expressed its support for the plan.

The full list of signatories: Alcatel-Lucent, America Movil, AT&T Mobile, Bharti, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, the GSMA, MTN, NTT DoCoMo, Nokia, NSN, Orange, Orascom, Softbank, SKT, Telstra, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telekom Austria, Telenor, TeliaSonera, TMI, Vimpelcom, Vodafone and Zain.