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Making Broadband Accessible For All

Making Broadband Accessible For All

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Published by ICTdocs
Vodafone: Making Broadband Accessible For All
Vodafone: Making Broadband Accessible For All

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Published by: ICTdocs on May 22, 2011
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02/10/2013

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Moving the debate forwardThe Policy Paper Series
• Number 12 • May 2011
MakingBroadbandAccessibleFor All
 
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Broadband For All
Moving the debate forward •
The Policy Paper Series
• Number 12 • May 2011
This is the twelfth in our series of Policy Papers. Our aim is to provide a platform for leading expertsto write a point of view on issues that are important to us at Vodafone. The opinions expressed arenot ours but those of independent experts whose views we respect even if we do not necessarilyalways agree with them. I would like to thank all those who contributed for their support. I believethese essays will be of interest to anyone concerned with the development of good public policyand hope you enjoy reading them.
Vittorio Colao
, Chief Executive, Vodafone Group Since 2004, our research on the socio-economic impact of mobile (SIM) has aimed to providesystematic analyses of the impact of mobile connections in key areas. In 2011 we now expandthe analysis to look at the impact of internet access. The ndings of this research can be used toassist policymakers in providing a regulatory environment that stimulates growth and economicdevelopment. The areas of research are decided upon in conjunction with the group of expertson the Advisory Panel, comprising academics, ofcials and representatives of NGOs. The AdvisoryPanel peer review each chapter before publication.
Diane Coyle OBE
, Enlightenment Economics & Chair SIM Advisory Panel 
Welcome
This paper can be seen online at www.vodafone.com/publicpolicyseries
Published by Vodafone Group PlcCopyright © 2011 Vodafone Group PlcISBN 978-0-9552578-6-5
Contents
Page
Welcome 00
– Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive, Vodafone GroupDiane Coyle OBE, Enlightenment Economics & Chair SIM Advisory Panel
Introduction 01
– Matthew KirkSteve Bratt
Overview 03
– Diane CoyleHoward Williams
Mobile internet usage and demand in Kenya: The experience of early adopters 12
– David Souter
The potential of mobile web content in East Africa 21
– Erik Hersman
Spectrum policy and competition in mobile services 31
– Thomas W. Hazlett
Rethinking mobile regulation for the data age 41
– Martin CaveWindfred Mfuh
Building next generation bradband networks in emerging markets 49
– Luke van Hooft
 
1
Broadband For All
Moving the debate forward •
The Policy Paper Series
• Number 12 • May 2011
Most governments rightly see getting people online as thenext step in delivering the expected economic and socialbenets of IT and telecommunications. This is as true inthe emerging markets as in the developed markets. Thebenets of doing so are in some ways more pronounced inthe emerging markets. The success story of mobiles in theemerging markets is already well known: this should soonextend to data services. Yet in the case of extending dataservices, there is a real danger of some serious policy mistakes.As in developed markets, broadband strategies in emergingmarkets have tended to focus on investment in bre. Howeverthis focus on bre may miss an opportunity for a quicker andmore cost-effective transformational change built on thecapabilities and in particular accessibility of mobile broadband.The early evidence suggests that mobile internet is spreadingas quickly, in some emerging markets, as mobile telephonydid originally. Mobile broadband use is already more extensivethan realised by policymakers. By contrast, xed internetaccess is stagnant.This report looks at the conditions for growth in access todata services and the internet. It considers the potential forextending access beyond afuent urban users to the widerpopulation and contains key ndings for network serviceproviders, data service businesses, governmentsand regulators.If the goal is universal access to data services then thecritical issue is affordability. The economic evidence todate indicates that the benets of broadband servicesderive from universal access.Several critical factors will drive affordability in emergingmarkets.The rst is innovation by service providers and contentdevelopers in terms of their pricing and business models.Affordability for low income users will require innovation thatdoes not place most of the burden of access costs on the user.Regulators must enable this innovation to ourish and notinhibit it by preconceived notions of the right model or pricing.The second is the power of content. Increased availability of Web content and services that are valued by people, and whichcan be viewed on prevalent devices and in local languages,will act to drive demand for access to data services to thatcritical point where network effects and economies of scaleaccelerate. Services that improve the social and economicwell being – such as those that help people nd jobs, sellgoods, access health and education resources – could drivedemand across a wide range of income levels. In addition,social networking is already emerging as an important driver of network effects in use of the internet.The third factor is data pricing and the affordability of internetservices for the mass market. The ‘calling party pays’ modeland highly innovative pricing plans were essential for thespread of mobile to users who have limited ability to pay. Asimilarly radical and innovative model has not yet emergedin data markets, both xed and mobile. Further innovation indata pricing is needed to enable viable delivery of access andservices to low-income users. This is a complex area in anycompetitive market and the risk for policy makers is that policyaction, or inaction, may conne access to data services to themore privileged.Another key nding of this report is that sufcient spectrummust be made available for service providers. The regulatorychallenge lies in enhancing the supply of spectrum, giventhat mobile broadband services will place enormous pressureon the existing spectrum capacity. Spectrum policy in manyemerging markets is characterised by short term governmentrevenue-raising objectives and these lead to policies such as‘warehousing’ spectrum and spectrum caps. As the demandfor spectrum takes off, these restrictions will become evenmore tempting but they will ultimately limit growth and raisecosts and prices for users.Finally, and most importantly, in order to ensure that themaximum number of people irrespective of income canbenet from the next generation network services, webelieve it is vital that the policy debate in emerging marketsshould change quickly. The current vision dominating policydebates is one of bre optical cable delivered to every ruralcommunity. But this glosses over many important issues,
Introduction
Chief Executive Ofcer,World Wide Web Foundation
Steve Bratt
Group External Affairs Director,Vodafone Group.
Matthew Kirk

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