Radio spectrum is a key resource used in wireless communications networks, for transmission of terrestrial and radio broadcasting, for satellite communications, Wi-Fi, and many other vital forms of communication across government, the military, maritime, aviation and transport sectors. Spectrum use is subject to licensing frameworks administered both at an international and regional level (for example, by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) via World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRCs)), and at a national level by the relevant regulatory authority for communications and/or spectrum. Optimal use of frequencies depends on a wide range of regulatory, market, technical and economic considerations. 

Analysys Mason has been instrumental in shaping spectrum strategy and policy around the world. Over the past decade, we have advised industry and regulators on many of the 4G and 5G spectrum auctions that have occurred worldwide. We have also helped broadcasters, fixed telecoms and satellite companies to develop spectrum strategies for future business growth, and we have advised on wireless deployments for a range of bespoke connectivity needs, such as private wireless networks.

Our spectrum experts offer a deep understanding of national, regional and international spectrum management, spectrum policy and pricing, and valuation of spectrum. 

Our wide-ranging studies have helped operators and spectrum users to develop business cases for licence bids, assess the value of spectrum for spectrum auctions, develop spectrum strategies for network procurement and deployment, and respond to regulatory consultations. For regulators, we have assisted in the preparation of spectrum roadmaps and performed cost–benefit assessments , change-of-use analysis and modelling of spectrum demand. We have also advised on licensing approaches (including licence renewal), spectrum pricing and licence conditions (for example, coverage obligations), and spectrum award preparation.

With rapid evolution in wireless technologies and new models emerging for making use of spectrum on a shared basis, there are competing demands for spectrum, and new ways in which spectrum can be authorised for use. Our thought leadership on emerging spectrum access models is demonstrated through the broad range of articles and analysis that we publish.

Key areas of expertise

Our expertise is centred around spectrum management and policy, and spectrum auctions. 

Spectrum management and policy 

Our experience supporting regulators and operators in relation to spectrum management and policy includes:

  • spectrum strategy
  • advising on regulatory frameworks, including current allocations and uses of spectrum, and key trends
  • spectrum pricing and annual licence fees
  • advising on international and regional spectrum harmonisation, and its implications
  • licensing approaches, including for licence renewal
  • cost–benefit analysis supporting changes of use of spectrum
  • modelling of spectrum demand
  • advising on network strategy and spectrum needs
  • assessing the technical, commercial and/or strategic value of additional spectrum in a wireless network
  • drafting regulatory consultations (for regulators), or reviewing and responding to regulatory consultations (for network operators and spectrum end users).

Spectrum auctions

On spectrum auctions, our experts provide advice for network operators and regulators in preparation for spectrum awards, using proven methodologies for valuing radio spectrum.

We advise regulators on:

  • strategies for making spectrum available
  • assignment options for different spectrum bands/blocks
  • valuation of spectrum from the perspective of different possible users 
  • reserve price setting
  • setting and estimating the cost of delivering coverage obligations.

For network operators, we advise on:

  • technical and economic arguments as input to spectrum strategies
  • the value of different frequency bands to an operator’s business
  • the costs of meeting coverage obligations
  • the impact of competition measures on spectrum licences (such as spectrum caps, use-it-or-lose-it or other obligations)
  • auction preparations and bid strategy.

We also provide comprehensive analysis of wireless network architecture options, including radio access network (RAN) sharing, virtualisation and Open RAN.

In a wireless market that is increasingly more complex in terms of its market structure, competitive landscape, emerging technologies and alternative spectrum access approaches, our advice provides clarity, with a focus on quality and independence.

Study assesses impact of spectrum deployment on carbon emissions from 5G infrastructure roll-out

Read more Study assesses impact of spectrum deployment on carbon emissions from 5G infrastructure roll-out

Market mechanisms that are applied to licensed mobile spectrum in the UK could be improved

Read more Market mechanisms that are applied to licensed mobile spectrum in the UK could be improved

Meet the team

Janette Stewart

Partner, expert in spectrum management, policy and valuation

Rohan Dhamija

Managing Partner | Director Head - Middle East & India (South Asia)

Sylvain Loizeau

Principal, expert in telecoms strategy and regulation