Kurth: In spectrum auction, requiring bidders to serve “white spaces on the map” first
Telcos, spending their own money, deployed to the hardest to reach areas for remarkably little. WIK estimated that they barely reduced their bids for the spectrum. Most universal service subsidies are much too high because the government doesn’t have the data to set them accurately and few regulators have the courage to resist telco demands.
The current U.S. CAF II is currently paying telcos about twice what is required, per the cost data developed for the broadband plan. The CEOs of the telcos are telling Wall Street they are seeing substantial cash flow now because CAF is paying above their actual costs. They expect net income from the deployment to be substantial, as the open costs are low once the network is built. (To a large company, opex for broadband is $4-$8/month. Telephony is even cheaper; Skype out charges $2.95 for unlimited calls and I believe is profitable.)
Kenya, Rwanda, and Mexico creating large spectrum blocks for LTE capacity
The quality of the Internet is severely limited LTE is designed for 100 MHz of contiguous spectrum, not the scattered 20 MHz and smaller blocks of most countries. I’d estimate that you more than double the capacity/effective spectrum with a single 100 MHz block compared to 5 carriers getting 20 MHz each. My estimate is informed by Gabrielle Gauthey, then of Alcatel, but I haven’t seen a strong engineering study.
Simply eliminating the guard bands helps, but the primary improvement comes from the sharing of the network. In