Digital Regulation Platform
Competition and economics

Competition and economics

Introduction: Regulatory transformation in the digital economy Over the past 10 years there has been significant market and regulatory disruption caused by digital transformation. This disruption, which is set to continue, extends to almost all corners of the economy, and is primarily the result of a transition to data-centric business models based on digital platforms (ITU 2020a). Digital platforms are embedding market power and, in a race for scale and scope, leading to transnational markets. This means that regulation is increasingly beyond the scope of individual national regulatory authorities (NRAs).[1] Elsewhere, NRAs have to work in regional collaboration if they…

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Regulatory governance and independence

Regulatory governance and independence

Introduction The regulatory framework, as well as the regulatory governance and independence of the institution, are key elements for effective regulation. Today, regulators and policy-makers face multiple challenges: they must address the traditional aspects of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and assess their appropriate roles in addressing the regulatory and policy issues arising from new digital technologies and services. In addition to more traditional issues, such as connectivity and infrastructure development, the digital environment prompts consideration of a broader range of sectors beyond ICTs, such as health, finance, education, transportation, and energy. The issues to be addressed include content regulation,…

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GSR best practices guidelines on the gold standard for digital regulation (2020) and to fast forward digital connectivity (2019)

GSR best practices guidelines on the gold standard for digital regulation (2020) and to fast forward digital connectivity (2019)

Regulators participating in the 19th and 20th edition of the Global Symposium for Regulators adopted the following best practice guidelines to set the gold standard for digital regulation and to fast forward digital connectivity. Regulatory best practice guidelines to set the gold standard for digital regulation 1 Demonstrating regulatory thought leadership for digital transformation While recognizing that digital regulation will be led by the core policy design principles outlined in the GSR-19 Best Practice Guidelines to fast forward digital connectivity for all, we identified the following fundamentals for sound, future-proof regulatory frameworks to respond to the challenges of digital transformation…

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Developing a telecommunications/ ICT contingency plan for a pandemic response

Developing a telecommunications/ ICT contingency plan for a pandemic response

(Adapted from the ITU Guide to develop a telecommunications/ ICT contingency plan for a pandemic response) Summary The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated the essential role of connectivity worldwide and the importance of having telecommunications and ICT in place for coordination mechanisms to respond to it. The response has demonstrated the strategic importance of a robust, resilient, and secure telecommunications/ICT infrastructure to social welfare and the global economy. This pandemic is the biggest global health crisis in decades. All government agencies and stakeholders involved in disaster risk management, including government decision-makers and the community in general should deploy coordination mechanisms and…

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Use of shared spectrum at the national level

Use of shared spectrum at the national level

Types of spectrum sharing licensing regimes Shared access regimes are one way for regulators to open spectrum to more users and to facilitate the use of spectrum bands, especially when an exclusive use is not possible in the short term. Spectrum sharing can either be part of a licensed or unlicensed regime. Under licensed shared access (LSA), use is authorized by a licence for a set of different types of services or between users, under conditions defined in the licence to avoid harmful interference. Under an unlicensed or licence-exempt regime, no licence is required, and the number of users is…

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Spectrum pricing and trading

Spectrum pricing and trading

Introduction In an increasingly digital environment, adequate access to spectrum is key to expanding the deployment and coverage of telecommunications networks, and addressing the ever-increasing demand for data services. These networks support a variety of online applications, extending the impact of spectrum management to several sectors of the economy by transforming the way people access resources for health, transportation, education, agriculture, government, and financial services. As a scarce resource, spectrum requires proper management from regulators, to ensure equitable access and an interference-free environment among different users and services, as well as to introduce new technologies. A key aspect is the…

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Overview of national spectrum licensing

Overview of national spectrum licensing

Source: ESA 2013. As a limited natural recourse, national administrations manage and assign the use of spectrum. In order to support the wide variety of different telecommunication services, as well as to mitigate possible harmful interference, regulators issue national tables of frequency allocations and establish licensing frameworks that govern how spectrum will be awarded in the country. Regulators also intervene to mitigate disputes in cases of harmful interference along national borders. This process includes working with neighbouring countries on cross-border frequency coordination, recording frequency assignments in the Master International Frequency Register (MIFR) in accordance with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)…

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Technical standards for upcoming technologies

Technical standards for upcoming technologies

Introduction The widespread adoption of wireless technologies at a global scale depends on robust consensus over technical standards for spectrum management. Technical standards are agreed upon through discussions at different international and regional organizations, as well as standards development organizations (SDOs). For example, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) addresses radio aspects in the Radiocommunication Sector and core aspects of the different technologies in the Standardization Sector. Another example, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a group that publishes the specifications for mobile technologies. Regulators need to be mindful of the work done in the SDOs in order to better…

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Spectrum licensing: local and private networks in Germany

Spectrum licensing: local and private networks in Germany

Licensing for local and private networks Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels. Different from previous mobile technology generations, the fifth generation (5G) presents opportunities often discussed in terms of the new use cases and applications they enable. This is especially true for 5G usage scenarios for industrial applications, which require high bandwidth and low latency over a small coverage area. These types of applications have caused some regulators to consider offering spectrum to non-traditional players for private networks to support localized 5G applications. Proponents of this approach cite many benefits in terms of network management and customization. However, traditional telecommunications operators…

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Pakistan’s Universal Service Fund

Pakistan’s Universal Service Fund

UA funding and financing policies: tackling accessibility challenges Pakistan established an autonomous Universal Service Fund (USF) by the end of 2006, in accordance with rules and guidelines from the Telecommunications Law enacted in July 2003, the 2004 Mobile Cellular Policy, and the 2004 Broadband Policy. It was created by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) with the goal of promoting the development of telecommunication services in unserved and underserved areas throughout the country. The USF follows a Corporate Model under Section 42 of the Pakistani Companies Ordinance. The main objectives of the USF are: to make telecommunication operators…

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