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DSA study finds economic benefit of using MHz band

A new study by the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) has found that Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa's economies could benefit if they decide to enable unlicensed access to the 5925-7125 MHz band.

The four new studies, jointly published by the DSA and the Telecom Advisory Services, indicate if regulations for licence-exempt access are adopted in the next decade, billions of dollars could be added to the economies of each country.

The companies say the four new studies assessed the economic value of unlicensed use of the band in Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa by assessing the impact on service quality, coverage, affordability and the impact on different applications and use cases.

These findings revealed a significant early economic impact following the designation of 1,200 MHz in the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use for applications such as Wi-Fi 6E, the new generation of Wi-Fi that operates in the 6 GHz band.

Some areas of improvement include better broadband coverage and affordability and increased speed due to reduced Wi-Fi congestion, more robustly established municipal Wi-Fi and Free Wi-Fi Hotspots to provide internet for households unable to purchase a broadband plan.

The companies findings also show that existing incumbent services, such as satellites and fixed links, will be unaffected by this change and will continue to thrive.

The studies suggest implementing the change to unlicensed access to the band will result in the following economic benefits:

  • Indonesia - enabling access to the 1200 MHz in the 6GHz band between 2022 and 2031 will see a GDP contribution of approx. US$126.4 billion, US$37.7 billion in producer surplus to Indonesian businesses, and US$23.5 billion in consumer surplus to the Indonesian population. The total contribution amounts to US$187.6 billion to the Indonesian economy over the next 10 years.
     
  • Kenya - enabling access to the 1200 MHz in the 6GHz band between 2021 and 2030 will see a GDP contribution of approx. US$14.3 billion, US$1.1 billion in producer surplus to Kenyan businesses, and US$4.9 billion in consumer surplus to the Kenyan population. The total contribution amounts to US$20.3 billion to the Kenyan economy over the next 10 years.
     
  • Nigeria - enabling access to the 1200 MHz in the 6GHz band between 2021 and 2030 will see a GDP contribution of approx. US$49.9 billion, US$10.5 billion in producer surplus to Nigerian businesses, and US$11.7 billion in consumer surplus to the Nigerian population. The total contribution amounts to US$72.1 billion to the Nigerian economy over the next 10 years.
     
  • South Africa - enabling access to the 1200 MHz in the 6GHz band between 2021 and 2030 will see a GDP contribution of approx. US$34.8 billion, US$13.3 billion in producer surplus to South African businesses, and US$9.6 billion in consumer surplus to the South African population. The total contribution amounts to US$57.8 billion to the South African economy over the next 10 years.
     

“License-exempt use of the entire 6 GHz band for Wi-Fi will be critical to address current pressing bandwidth demands for end users, new applications and industries,” DSA president Martha Suarez says.

“It will also play a crucial role in bridging the digital divide in these countries, enabling improved access to remote education, work and commerce. Wi-Fi needs greater spectrum access in the 6 GHz band to effectively support the modern digital ecosystem.

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