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United States Expands Global Lead in Mobile Broadband

How spectrum policy actions could enhance or imperil America's mobile broadband competitiveness


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In 2012, Deloitte developed a Mobile Communications National Achievement Index to track the relative strength of countries' wireless sectors, enabling policymakers and industry leaders to evaluate America's standing compared to the rest of the world. A new report, "United States expands global lead in mobile broadband," offers contrasting spectrum policy scenarios. It demonstrates how, if U.S. policies are insufficient to address telecommunications carriers' growing need for spectrum, America's mobile broadband leadership will be at risk over the coming decade, jeopardizing benefits that extend across the broader U.S. economy. Delays or policy actions that impede the adequate supply of mobile broadband could demote the U.S. from its current position as global leader to just one of many contenders, resulting in reduced U.S. GDP and job growth and diminished technology eminence.

Among the report's findings:

  • The U.S. is in the enviable position of being the global leader in mobile broadband and recently strengthened its position after losing a significant portion of its lead a few years ago.
  • This leadership has enabled the U.S. to reap substantial economic benefits that are helping numerous U.S. industries strengthen their global competitive edge.
  • Other countries recognize the value of mobile broadband leadership and are aggressively pursuing capabilities to challenge U.S. leadership.
  • If U.S. policies fail to provide enough spectrum, U.S. wireless development could be constrained and America's mobile broadband leadership put at risk over the coming decade.
  • A decline in leadership would damage the U.S. mobile industry and create a chilling effect on the broader U.S. economy, which increasingly relies on mobile services for both consumer and business use. Moreover, it would constrain wireless capacity just as demand is further increased by the proliferating Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.
  • To promote continued leadership, the U.S. should redouble its efforts to ensure that sufficient spectrum is placed into the market in the next few years for wireless carriers.

As used in this document, 'Deloitte' means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.