Mobile broadband – six golden rules to accelerate take-up

In-depth analysis demonstrates that just six regulations, or ‘golden rules’, will accelerate the take-up of mobile broadband, removing roadblocks and incentivizing market players. The rules include mandating the sharing of infrastructure, enabling number portability and gearing up markets for full competition (see figure below for the full list of measures).

The analysis shows that:

  • The ‘golden rules’ helped no fewer than 63 countries achieve mobile-broadband penetration of 90 per cent on average or near-universal coverage in 2017.
  • These 63 countries’ markets have skyrocketed: penetration is one-and-a-half times higher than the world average in 2017 and is significantly outpacing most other countries. Although there are multiple factors at work, these countries have deployed high-performance regulation which is delivering outstanding results.
  • While a decade ago the gap between those countries applying the ‘golden rules’ and the world average penetration was eight per cent, by 2017 it was close to 30 per cent. This evidence points to the power of targeted regulation in driving towards universal connectivity.
  • Since the first formulation of the ‘Golden 6’ in our 2017 edition of the Global ICT Regulatory Outlook, we have tightened some criteria to align the ‘golden rules’ more closely to international best practice – for example prioritizing full competition above partial, and adding the requirement for the implementation of mobile number portability by operators as opposed to merely putting a legal framework in place. We found that higher penetration arises from more open and competitive markets.
  • With 5G mobile broadband technology on the horizon, we expect new regulatory requirements to come into play – we will therefore be closely scrutinizing evidence and tracking those regulatory measures that will take markets to the next level.

Keep reading: Global ICT Regulatory Outlook 2020