UK broadcasting spectrum worth over £10BN

Editor | 06-11-2012

The broadcasting industry accounts for a fifth of wireless spectrum in the UK which was worth over £50 billion according to Analysys Mason research.
The ‘Impact of radio spectrum on the UK economy and factors influencing future spectrum demand’ study was commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and designed to offer insight into the value of spectrum use to the UK economy, key changes in spectrum use and requirements that can be expected by 2020 and the implications for policy-making.

This includes the UK Government’s plan to release 500MHz of spectrum from public-sector use for commercial use by 2020.
The analyst found that in the five years since a similar study was undertaken the economic value of spectrum use was £52 billion, an increase of 25% in real terms since 2006. Not surprisingly given what has happened in the time since the last survey, mobile services accounted for nearly 60% of this value, while broadcasting accounts for a further 20%. It also found that broadcasting services support a supply chain worth around £16 billion a year and support 40,000 jobs.
The analyst suggest that in total the resulting direct economic welfare of broadcasting is likely to have a net present value (NPV) of £86 billion over the next ten years.
As far as broadcasting in concerned, the survey suggested that now that digital switchover was complete, further consideration should be given on when and how the UK’s digital terrestrial TV (DTT) platform can be upgraded to deliver more HDTV content.
“On-going market, technical and commercial trends all point towards continued growth in the public mobile sector, suggesting its importance to the UK economy will continue to increase,” commented Philip Bates, Senior Manager at Analysys Mason and lead author of the report. “The licence-exempt sector (including Wi-Fi, RFID and M2M (Machine-to-Machine)) applications and many more uses of short-range devices) is becoming increasingly diverse, and innovators are emerging in the UK offering new ways to deliver licence-exempt services.”