This edition of Analysys Mason Quarterly contains a digest of the most interesting articles written over the last three months, and covers a wide variety of topical issues in the broadcast and telecommunications industries, from the attractiveness of broadcast tower assets and the Italian spectrum auction to the success of Chinese vendors in Africa. Other articles cover the relevance of non-telecoms utility assets and the role of specialist MVNE players in the MVNO ecosystem. Overall, a significant number of the articles relate to mobile or spectrum issues, highlighting our expertise in this area. For more information, see our newly launched Spectrum research programme, which tracks spectrum issues and developments worldwide. Articles in this edition Broadcasting tower investments have gained momentum in 2011 Europe has seen four transactions involving broadcasting tower businesses in less than 12 months, and we understand that others could follow in the coming months. This suggests that there is still a significant appetite among private equity investors for these assets, even if current market conditions have moderated the return they can now expect from these businesses. Exploiting the digital dividend - an Africa approach The World Radiocommunications Conference 2012 (WRC-12), a four week marathon of spectrum policy, will be held in Geneva early next year. As African countries prepare they should be asking themselves: how will we be investing our 'Digital Dividend'? Utilities: the gold is underground With fibre network roll-outs on the rise globally, utility companies are sitting on an asset that – if appropriately identified, managed and valued – could enable them to reap significant benefits. Civil engineering costs (for example, digging new trenches) are often the main barrier to fibre network roll-outs. However, most utilities already own a number of underground ducts that are suitable to deploy fibre – provided there is sufficient space. Will 'Murphy's law' hit content rights holders? A recent European Court of Justice ruling concluded that the current system of licensing broadcasters on a national basis to show content such as coverage of Premier League football matches will no longer be considered allowable under European Union (EU) competition law. The ruling applies to broadcasters throughout the EU, and could have a substantial effect on rights holders such as the Football Association Premier League, which generally assigns territorial licences on a national basis. MVNEs: cost-savers or margin skimmers? Aspiring mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are becoming more aware of the function and potential benefits of using an mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE), which specialise in the planning, implementation and management of mobile services on behalf of an MVNO. Could financial trading spur a new transatlantic cable boom? In the world of high-frequency trading, a saving of 1 millisecond on the round-trip latency of a transaction could equate to a saving of GBP100 million (USD157 million). The promise of such financial rewards has stimulated the transatlantic cable market for the first time since the turn of the century. A KHz of Italian spectrum costs twice as much as a Kg of gold The Italian spectrum auction ended in September after 469 rounds, generating EUR4 billion in revenue. This exceeded the expectations of the government and of many stakeholders. Prior to the auction, all signs – namely the lack of new entrants, the economic crisis and the statements from the mobile operators' representatives – pointed to lower revenue. Are Chinese vendors entrenching themselves in Africa? In the past two years, Huawei and ZTE secured a total of at least USD55 billion in credit facility from Chinese policy banks to support their expansion into overseas markets. With this support, ZTE and Huawei have swept the African telecoms markets, putting their European and US competitors under growing pressure. Did SK Telecom pay too much in the South Korean spectrum auction? The rules of South Korea's recent spectrum auction dictated that no MNO could acquire spectrum in more than one band. Korea Telecom, SK Telecom and LG Uplus each won licences, but SKT's winning bid in the 1800MHz band is particularly noteworthy because of the unusually high price: it paid KRW995 billion (USD933 million) for 20MHz in the band.