& cplSiteName &

FCC Chief: Keep Spectrum Open for Smaller Carriers

Dan Jones
4/20/2014
50%
50%

FCC head Tom Wheeler wants to keep spectrum open for smaller operators in the upcoming "Incentive Auction" in 2015.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman described spectrum as "a finite public resource" in a blog post Friday. "Getting the Incentive Auction right will revolutionize how spectrum is allocated," Wheeler wrote. (See Wheeler Writes Regulatory Rubric .)

Suggesting that not all spectrum is created equal, Wheeler writes that the type of low-band sub-1 GHz spectrum that could be auctioned off is beneficial for both rural and urban deployments. Low-band spectrum has better propagation capabilities, which means fewer sites are needed to deploy a network and the spectrum penetrates buildings better. (See T-Mobile: Going Bananas for Low-Band .)

Wheeler appears to favor allowing smaller operators to get some of that spectrum without simply being outbid by the Big 2, particularly for rural networks.

"A legacy of earlier spectrum assignments, however, is that two national carriers control the vast majority of low-band spectrum," Wheeler writes. "As a result, rural consumers are denied the competition and choice that would be available if more wireless competitors also had access to low-band spectrum."

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless grabbed nationwide blocks of low-band 700 MHz in the last major US spectrum auction.

Wheeler has now provided the other commissioners with a draft policy on the auction. This auction is different because the FCC hopes that US TV broadcasters will give up chunks of 600 MHz spectrum in return for a slice of the profits of the auction. The auction is expected in mid-2015.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
dananet3
50%
50%
dananet3,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/5/2014 | 7:42:27 AM
unlimited bandwidth
To briandnewby's question:

The "finite" source becomes infinite when the FCC says so. This is cynical on my part, but there is already technology that could alleviate this "crunch". However, that would stop the monopoly and remove the reason to auction, remove a cash infusion to the FCC and really flow against the tide, politically. 
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/21/2014 | 4:04:31 PM
Re: Will it survive?
You have that right. Hoping that U.S. broadcasters will give up spectrum won't make it happen. Money talks. But as the price of spectrum keeps ging up, the question is who would come up with the money if not the big companies that already control the spectrum.
DanJonesLRMobile
50%
50%
DanJonesLRMobile,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/21/2014 | 3:22:04 PM
Re: Will it survive?
When we run out of usable radio spectrum for services, "peak spectrum" if you will. I would think that there will actually be a lot of reuse of existing spectrum in the coming years. But as Wheeler notes, some spectrum is better for wireless services than other spectrum.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
4/21/2014 | 11:23:58 AM
Re: Will it survive?
The reverse auction for the broadcasters to figure out who is giving up spectrum and how much means it isn't going to be clear for a while what is available. The whole thing is pretty complicated, even with more than a year left to figure it out.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/21/2014 | 10:58:42 AM
Re: Will it survive?
A mid-2015 auction and "hoping" are the clue that this is not a done deal. It's unlikely that broadcasters are going to give up spectrum unless there's a pretty nice chunk of change to be pocketed. It would seem the FCC could just put some pressure here and there to get what they want, but the political realities won't allow that of course.
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/21/2014 | 3:58:37 AM
Re: Will it survive?
..and to add to your comments, I was amused to see how the FCC is "hoping" that US Broadcasters will give up some of their spectrum--What incentive do they have as they clamour ever more for it all?

 

 
briandnewby
100%
0%
briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/20/2014 | 7:37:18 PM
Re: Will it survive?
The only thing I feel compelled to point out is that the auctions have continued for more than 15 years.  When does the "finite resource" actually become finite?
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/20/2014 | 6:02:02 PM
Will it survive?
Will be very, very curious to see if this survives running the lobbying gauntlet over the next few months. AT&T's certainly very, very busy trying to kill anything that could potentially restricting them from owning as much spectrum as possible.
From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
How Diversity Helps Comcast Mirror Its Customer Base

4|26|17   |   2:55   |   (0) comments


Diversity brings innovation, creative ideas and a way to reflect the broad spectrum of your customer base, Comcast Director of Customer Experience Jenelle Champlin says.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mobile Operators & Video

4|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ovum's Ed Barton discusses the latest mobile operator strategies for mobile video.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom, for a discussion of what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia Introduces Virtual Service Router for More Rapid Service

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


James Cumming, product line manager for virtualized service routers at Nokia, demonstrates how the virtual router based off the Nokia ecosystem changes the network function experience.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Time for a Telecom Reboot
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 4/19/2017
Surprise! AT&T Markets 4G Advances as '5G Evolution'
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
Did Verizon Outbid AT&T for Straight Path?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success
Denise Culver, 4/24/2017
Unlicensed: It's What's Next for US Mobile Operators
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.