The communications sector is vital to modern economies; this was recognised before Covid-19, but the recent requirement for social distancing has led to an increased need for home working and remote education, as well as increased policy emphasis on the critical nature of connectivity. It is a sector with constant technological change which has evolved complex value chains, as a result, policy stakeholders are often in need of expert support.

Communications is a heavily regulated sector. National regulators implement sector-specific ex-ante regulation to limit the negative effects of market power via remedies applied to operators with significant market power. They also administer various critical functions in relation to consumer protection and management of scarce resources, including radio spectrum and telephone numbers. National legal frameworks and market situations differ, and past regulatory and policy interventions sometimes caused a complex patchwork of remedies, which can require tailored solutions.

We have been active in providing support regarding policy and regulation since the foundation of Analysys in 1985. Our communications-sector focus, expertise and long history in this area allows us to provide our clients with the best possible advice.

Accelerating digital transformation of society

We provide support and advice on how to facilitate and accelerate the digital transformation of society. We do this through creating strategic roadmaps, qualitative and quantitative analysis, process facilitation, project co-ordination, evaluation, and development of policy recommendations.

State broadband interventions and public-private partnerships investing in broadband

We help governments and regional or local bodies to design and deliver ultrafast and gigabit-capable broadband initiatives for areas which are not economic for the private sector to fully fund themselves. We also advise on innovative schemes similar to public-private partnerships (PPPs), where the public sector operates as a commercial investor alongside private sector partners. Our work involves a wide range of activities including business planning; cost-benefit analysis; commercial, technical and regulatory analysis; state aid and related analysis. Our work includes end-to-end support from concept, through procurement to contract award and into in-life contract assurance.

Networks and platforms policy development and response

We help regulators, network operators and internet platforms throughout the policy-making process by researching, modelling and analysing possible approaches to achieving policy goals. We take into account fast-paced developments in technology, user behaviours and the value chain to understand the socio-economic impact, effectiveness and potentially unintended consequences of policy decisions. Our outputs are regularly published for public access.

Regulatory price control / cost modelling

We help both regulators and operators in the end-to-end development of regulatory cost models of telecoms networks (and other regulatory tools such as margin squeeze tests). This includes model design, data gathering, model construction, calibration and consultation with industry. We also provide support in the application of these tools to price regulation.

Regulatory accounting

We help operators and regulators prepare or audit regulatory accounting submissions, such as separated accounts, as well as accounting-based inputs used for top-down cost models and RAB models.

Regulatory benchmarking and other regulatory economic analysis

We help regulators and operators to find cases where regulators have faced similar issues in other countries or industries. From this, we look for suitable approaches or evidence to inform or support our client’s position. Sometimes new or tailored approaches need to be developed instead, which our experience is well-placed to accommodate.

Postal and courier sector regulation and policy

We support stakeholders in the postal and courier sectors to plan and prepare for policies and regulations of the future. We advise on the needs, costs and benefits of urban and rural universal postal services. We support national authorities in developing future regulatory frameworks and detailed regulations for the oversight of the sector. We audit quality of service measurements and associated aspects such as volume measures and mail sampling.

We support regulatory costing and pricing decision-making in the sector, including cost allocation, accounting separation, cost transparency, price regulation, profitability, financeability, and universal service obligation net costing. We develop bottom-up cost models of postal networks.

Spectrum management and policy

We help regulators, operators and spectrum end users with formulating, reviewing and updating spectrum policy and spectrum roadmaps. We also help operators responding to regulatory consultations and support regulators in defining spectrum policy for release, re-allocation and re-planning of spectrum (including forward-looking spectrum roadmaps and strategies). We advise regulators on demand for spectrum for different types of use, and options for accommodating this demand. We support end users with understanding the spectrum availability for different types of use and to develop forward-looking spectrum strategies. We also use modelling, including radio planning software, as needed to advise on technical compatibility issues between wireless systems in adjacent bands.

We support regulators in setting annual fees for spectrum licences and developing strategies for award of spectrum via auctions, including reserve prices. We use bottom-up modelling of spectrum demand and valuation to advise on reserve prices, and we maintain a database of prices paid for spectrum in other markets in order to provide benchmark prices.

Expert witness, litigation and anti-trust support

We provide expert witnesses and related services for operators and regulators in regulator appeals or arbitrations, often related to quantifying damages (via our expertise in telecoms business planning). We provide our extensive and independent knowledge on key issues, either in appeal strategy and prospect development, or in independent expert reporting.

We support merger control procedures with strategic and regulatory advice, often working closely with competition economists and anti-trust lawyers to develop legal and techno-economic submissions to the relevant merger approval authorities.

Our work has included regulatory advice in 115 different countries over the last 15 years, on projects of all shapes and sizes. For example, we briefed the Verizon board on European regulatory and policy issues as part of their discussions regarding the purchase of Vodafone’s stake in Verizon Wireless, which culminated in a USD100 billion transaction.

Developing cost models for next generation telecoms networks in Zambia

Analysys Mason was commissioned to undertake a wide-ranging cost study of telecoms services in Zambi...

Developing cost models for next generation telecoms networks in Zambia

We developed a long-term plan for radio frequency usage for the UAE regulator

Analysys Mason was engaged by the TRA to undertake a study to help develop the UAE Spectrum Outlook ...

We developed a long-term plan for radio frequency usage for the UAE regulator