Politics don't belong in mobile - GSMA

2012-11-15 12:06
Peter Lyons of the GSMA has urged politicians to stop meddling in the allocation of spectrum, critical to high speed wireless networks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Peter Lyons of the GSMA has urged politicians to stop meddling in the allocation of spectrum, critical to high speed wireless networks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


VIDEO: GSMA spectrum policy

2012-11-15 10:44

Peter Lyons of the GSMA explains why it is important for the South African government to release spectrum for 4G wireless rollout in this YouTube video.WATCH


Cape Town - Politicians should not meddle with spectrum allocation that could deliver mobile broadband to developing countries, the GSMA has said.

"I think there are vested interests that would like to get a hold of spectrum which is a national resource and I think it is the role of the regulator to ensure that the spectrum goes to those that can make the most efficient use of that spectrum," Peter Lyons GSMA director for spectrum policy in Africa and the Middle East told News24.

The GSMA represents the interest of mobile operators globally and Lyons was unapologetic about the need for governments in Sub-Saharan Africa to facilitate the rollout broadband wireless services.

"They see the mobile industry as a cow to be milked and perhaps even slaughtered at the end, where the mobile industry is in fact a horse: You can attach society, civilisation, economy to this horse to be taken into the future.

"So they see the cash flows generated as attractive for taxation, very spectrum fees, licensing fees, without looking two or three years down the road," Lyons said.

Mobile growth

In SA, mobile operators MTN and Vodacom announced the rollout of Long Term Evolution higher speed networks, but the companies remain hamstrung by the lack of available spectrum to deliver wireless broadband.

The GSMA acknowledged that the operators were refarming what they had and placed the responsibility on Icasa (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) as the regulator to release the spectrum.

"That's sort of a stopgap measure until Icasa can release more spectrum. There's a demand in the market for 40mbps and the operators have to work with what they have," said Lyons.

"What we'd like to see is spectrum released in the 800, after 2015, 700MHz band; 2.6 [GHz] - all of that issuing of spectrum will be required in addition to the refarming of the existing spectrum holdings," he added.

According to a World Bank report, mobile industry is linked to economic growth. The institution calculated that for every for every 10% increase in mobile penetration, there is a corresponding 0.8% increase in GDP.

In many developing countries politicians have looked at mobile growth as a source of revenue for governments, but Lyons insisted that reduced levies on the industry would spur greater economic development and activity in the region.

"Get the politics out of mobile, this is about creating jobs; this is about growing your economies; this is about helping the bottom of the pyramid. Fixed line connectivity is not going to achieve that."

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

- News24
Read more on:    mtn  |  gsma  |  vodacom  |  mobile

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.