The GSM Association has a message for South Africa: Do not get involved in the broadband spectrum market. According to GSM, having the government get involved with cause a “new monopoly” across any service.
The South African government originally wanted to roll out high speed universal mobile broadband to all citizens by 2020. That is unlikely now due to a variety of issues. One is the objection by the South African mobile industry about the way that spectrum would be issued to wireless providers. While some in the government want there to be a “minister” who would “control the mobile broadband spectrum,” others in the telecom industry prefer open bidding for everyone.
One reason for the government’s view is that there are many parts of South Africa that are severely under-served and having such a minister to issue spectrum would give them power to push carriers to serve certain areas. The GSM says that one of the ways to achieve the goal of national coverage without such a minister would be “subsidy tools could be used to encourage operators to deliver 4G services on a national level.”
Don’t those sound like things that Verizon and AT&T say in the US? Wait, who exactly is the GSM?
The GSM is an association of mobile operators and related companies devoted to representing the interests of mobile operators worldwide. The GSM has been called “one of the most powerful trade associations in the world.” Some of the members of the GSM include AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and many others in the US alone.
The GSM has been shilling for telecom interests for years now. They were the group that demanded Netflix to pay telecoms around the world for using their “pipes.”
When asked in an interview if the operators alone should bear the burden of building out next generation networks to meet the demand for mobile broadband, Franco Bernabe, the new head of the GSM Association and the CEO of Telecom Italia replied, “If the over the top players want to serve their customers with high quality services, I think they have to be part of the equation in serving our customers … our common customers.” – GigaOM
The notion that Netflix or any other content company should be handing over additional money to network operators is and always has been an absurd idea. Rather than spending some of the many billions in profit that the telecoms receive yearly on basic network upgrades, they want to offload network build costs to others. Instead, let’s make Apple and Google pay additional usage tolls for simply allowing customers to send traffic to their carrier network.
Also, why would anyone listen to GSM when they talk about causing a monopoly system? Anyone see what is happen here in the US? Verizon and AT&T have been controlling this country’s wireless direction for years. Comcast almost owned over half of the broadband connections in this country. Time Warner Cable and other major telco’s run cities/states with no competition.