It is a truism that government policies create, shape, promote or diminish revenue and profit potential of all telecommunications endeavors.
And it might happen that future regulator decisions on how much spectrum to allocated, and what licensing policies to use, will profoundly shape the future development of the global telecom industry.
Consider only the matter of spectrum scarcity. Some argue service provider and regulator actions have created spectrum scarcity, which in turn has created higher prices for consumer services. The evidence is provided by Wi-Fi, many would argue.
The way to promote competition and innovation, and eliminate scarcity, is to release more spectrum on an unlicensed basis, some argue.
Of course, there are direct contestant implications. More unlicensed spectrum would promote innovation, but also would favor application providers and others for whom “spectrum controlled by mobile or other service providers” is a cost of doing business.
Conversely, some might argue, more unlicensed spectrum would put additional pressure on mobile, satellite and other service providers, as application and device suppliers could connect their users directly to the Internet, without the intervention of a mobile, satellite or other Internet service provider.
So the matter of “additional spectrum” availability means stakes are very high, indeed. Perhaps that is among the reasons some ISPs are moving quickly to reduce reliance on revenue from the Internet access business.
AT&T, for example, might experience radical changes in revenue sources if its acquisitions of DirecTV, Iusacell and Nextel Mexico are approved. Among those changes is a huge boost in business customer revenue and a dramatic decrease on reliance on consumer revenues overall.
That obviously would reduce exposure to big changes in Internet access business conditions.