The Commission for Communications Regulation (Ireland) has published a DotEcon report on the implications of setting coverage obligations for spectrum awards and competition in mobile services, with a focus on topics that might be relevant for the forthcoming award of 700 MHz licences in Ireland.
The report looks at typical approaches taken to setting coverage obligations, distinguishing between precautionary obligations and those that would extend services beyond what competition might deliver. It discusses the differences between geographic and population targets as well as identifying other aspects of coverage obligations such as timing and service definitions that are important in practice for determining the costs meeting the obligation. It discusses when coverage obligations might be beneficial, and identifies the implications for competition in mobile services, spectrum auction revenue and possible competitive distortions in spectrum auctions. Finally, the report considers the broader options for procuring coverage, including the use of coverage lots and procuring coverage separately from allocating spectrum licences.
The full report can be found on the ComReg website.