Mobile telecommunications industry welcomes release of Digital Dividend Green Paper

The mobile telecommunications industry welcomes the release of the Rudd Government’s Digital Dividend Green Paper, which identifies the national interest, productivity and connectivity as key drivers for new spectrum allocations.


AMTA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, said the Digital Dividend provides a unique generational opportunity to earmark nation-building infrastructure for next generation mobile broadband use that will be a key contributor in driving productivity growth and enhancing Australia’s full participation in the digital economy.


AMTA commissioned independent research to examine the potential economic value of the Digital Dividend in a range of scenarios and identify an optimal split between mobile broadband and broadcasting use where nett economic value was maximised. A copy of the SVP report is available here


The report found that the Australian economy would be boosted by up to $10 billion if sufficient useable spectrum unlocked from the Digital Dividend was made available for advanced mobile applications including mobile broadband.


The proposed Government Digital Dividend target of 126MHz is strongly supported by AMTA.


“The Green Paper has identified a target Digital Dividend based on the legitimate needs of both the mobile and broadcasting industries in the overall context of what is best for Australia.” Mr Althaus added.


“An efficient, fair and well-balanced allocation of the Digital Dividend between mobile telecommunications and broadcasting industries will ensure that Australia reaps the full economic and social benefits from the Digital Dividend,” he said.


Mr Althaus said that the release of the Green Paper including a target Digital Dividend of 126MHz is an important first step in creating certainty for mobile carriers to continue to invest in next generation mobile broadband technologies, services and applications and networks such as Long-Term Evolution (LTE). LTE will significantly enhance the mobile broadband experience for users, who will be able to access higher data capacity, new performance demanding applications and peak download speeds of up to 100Mbps.”


Mr Althaus said the growth of mobile broadband, where subscriptions in Australia increased by over 100% in 2008/09, is already playing a key role in streamlining business processes, reducing costs and increasing productivity of workers who are no longer constrained by a traditional work environment.


“Australia cannot sustain strong economic growth unless it lifts its productive capacity and it cannot sustain ongoing improvements in living standards unless productivity growth improves. And one of the key drivers of productivity is mobile telecommunications,” he said.



Mr Althaus said the influence and contribution of the digital economy continued to grow as technologies, services and applications reach into all sectors of our economy and society, providing significant – and growing – social and economic benefits for all Australians.


In conclusion Mr Althaus noted that the release of the Digital Dividend Green Paper is an important part of a series of spectrum policy decisions currently under consideration. As well as gaining access to new spectrum the mobile industry also needs certainty regarding re-issue of current spectrum licences.


For more information contact AMTA CEO Chris Althaus on (02) 6239 6555 or 0417 270 689