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Commercial Times: Local governments deserve a say in 4G auction

Commercial Times: Local governments deserve a say in 4G auction

The National Communications Commission (NCC) finally presented its long-awaited plan for a 4G spectrum auction earlier this month. Mobile communications licensing has traditionally been seen as falling under the central government's jurisdiction, meaning that local administrations have generally been left out of the process. We believe, however, that our previous disregard for the role of local governments in wireless spectrum auctions has hindered the construction and upgrading of our mobile communications infrastructure. Local 2G and 3G mobile telecom operators have had a hard time finding base station construction sites because of concerns over the possible electromagnetic radiation emitted from mobile communication antennas. Not only have individual residents strongly resisted base stations being installed in their neighborhoods, many local administrations have also stubbornly defied the Ministry of Transportation and Communications' order to put base stations on open rooftops of city and county government buildings. Such boycotts have led to the proliferation of unauthorized wireless communications base stations. If the issue is not resolved soon, 4G licensing will only further aggravate the situation. We hope both the NCC and the Transportation Ministry can approach the 4G spectrum auction with a new mindset and help telecom carriers resolve the critical problem of finding base station sites. The ministry, for instance, should drop its previous top-down style and adopt a bottom-up approach in dealing with local administrations. It can ask city and county governments about how urgently they need 4G mobile communications and the steps that can be taken to facilitate construction of wireless infrastructure, such as base stations. The ministry can also offer financial incentives to local administrations to speed up mobile infrastructure construction, instead of monopolizing all revenues from the auction, as has been the case in past auctions. If the central government is truly determined to resolve the many problems facing the country, we believe it should start with the 4G auction. Rather than focusing on spectrum planning and the parameters of the auction, the ministry should instead spend time thinking about how best to partner with local administrations to wipe out obstacles to infrastructure development. (Editorial abstract -- Dec. 30, 2012) (By Sofia Wu)


Updated : 2021-08-02 23:27 GMT+08:00