Brazilian operators are missing out on revenues totalling R$40bn because they are not satisfying the coverage requirements of customers. And it is claimed that the prime reason they are not satisfying those coverage requirements is because the government is making it prohibitively difficult for them to do so. Yet the regulator has warned operators that if they do not begin satisfying customers, it will fine them and take their spectrum licences away. That must feel like a right kick in the Brazil nuts.
Independent consultant and one-time head of research and development for UK regulator Ofcom, William Webb asks whether operators really need to own the spectrum in which their services operate. If radio access infrastructure can be outsourced or shared and the core can be virtualised, why shouldn’t the industry look at innovative usage models for spectrum?