Light Reading
Wireless spectrum is a precious commodity, which is why the FCC and NAB are butting heads, and automakers and cable operators have the potential to, as well.

Spectrum Spats: Chatty Cars, Busy Broadcast Airwaves

Sarah Reedy
8/19/2014
50%
50%

It shouldn't come as a surprise that wireless operators view spectrum as a scarce and precious commodity. That's why there's always dissension over who gets it and for what purposes.

The latest spat is between the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , over the FCC's plan to sell wireless operators TV airways to free up the spectrum for 4G LTE next year. (See FCC Could Block Sprint/T-Mobile Spectrum JV.)

The NAB claims the FCC is hurting the business of those stations that don't participate in the auction by reducing their coverage area anyway. The FCC's rule allowing the change would cause viewership to shrink "after the FCC 'repacks' TV stations into a shrunken TV band," the group writes, in a petition for review filed with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

Those stations whose airwaves are sold have the choice of going out of business or moving to another channel that uses fewer airwaves. The NAB estimates it could cost $500 million to repack into a new frequency. The Wall Street Journal reports that the FCC did set aside $1.75 billion to cover the broadcasters' expenses for moving their signals, so an increase to the pot could help the two avoid court.


For more on spectrum scarcity and other related issues, see our dedicated 4G/LTE content channel here on Light Reading.


There is the potential for another spectrum spat bubbling in the connected car space, as well. Regulators said this week that vehicle-to-vehicle communications should be required in future cars so they can talk to each other in order to avert collisions. Federal transportation officials suggest that the technology could prevent 592,000 crashes per year and save more than 1,000 lives. (See If These Cars Could Talk and Telefónica: Safety Is Top Connected Car 'App'.)

It's a pretty compelling argument, but the disagreement comes, first of all, over whether the technology – which would add $100 to $200 to the cost of the car – would be mandated; and secondly, over the 5.9GHz spectrum it would use to send data between vehicles.

Technology companies such as Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) have joined forces with cable operators Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Charter Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) to push to share more spectrum for WiFi, including in the 5.9GHz band. These companies formed the WifiForward group earlier this year for that reason, but automakers worry that other usage in the band will interfere with their safety goals. (See Rival MSOs, Tech Rivals Unite on WiFi and WiFiForward Presses for 5GHz .)

"More than ever, we need to preserve the space on the spectrum that these safety systems rely on to operate," John Bozzella, president and CEO of Global Automakers, said in a statement. "There is no better use of this spectrum than to save lives."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
 DwayneBWalburn
50%
50%
DwayneBWalburn,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/5/2014 | 9:16:47 AM
Re: Chatting cars
It is very difficult to choose car stereo system. All supplier promise to give us quality sound system but sometimes it's failure. But a good presentation <a href=" http://www.essayminions.com/"> Custom Essay Writing from Exceptional Writers </a> help you to create a excellence advertising.

 
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/24/2014 | 10:00:33 AM
Re: Chatting cars
That moment of truth is still a farcry. We are talking about an operational demand for such cars in the near future, within a span of 5 years or so, with current speed (and optimum markets). If the networks and spectrum can support the cars now, then we will have to broaden the spectrum and have more digital multiplexing for giving a bandwidth to many customers of the connection in the car.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/24/2014 | 9:57:08 AM
Cost of the car
I don't think the cost of the car would be of any concern because a 200 dollar increase wouldn't hurt anybody. What is of concern that if this is not implemented, we cannot exploit the communication channels properly. What could save lives shouldn't be stopped from being implemented. If companies could see reason from a public poll, then that would be great.
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/20/2014 | 12:45:39 PM
Re: Chatty Cars
@Phil_Britt, true - if there is a demand that exceeds capacity that will clearly inhibit chatty cars.  It appears that the ongoing demand for airwaves is only to grow.

By the way, I am above the average on cars as well - so we are doing our part to restrain demand!
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/20/2014 | 9:50:49 AM
Re: Chatting cars
While "chatty cars" might ultimately be a good concept, how long will it be before there are enough vehicles with these capabilities to have much of an effect on spectrum demand? If too much spectrum is devoted too early, those without the chatty cars lose out, while the reverse is also true.

And there are plenty out there driving older vehicles -- I believe average age is 11 years (yeah, my car and my wife's are above average :) ). 
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/20/2014 | 9:33:31 AM
Re: chatty cars
"The bottom line is that consumers don't win if industries lawyer up and go to battle in court. " Truer words are rarely spoken.
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/19/2014 | 9:35:52 PM
Re: Chatting cars
@SReedy, I am with you.  I think car-to-car communications makes great sense - it may make for more intelligent travel.  In fact, DOT is working with trucking-to-trucking communications in optimal traffic management with the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
8/19/2014 | 5:45:40 PM
Re: chatty cars

TIA President Grant Seiffert weighs in: 

"Since the passage of the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2012, the FCC has been hard at work solving a long list of issues that have to be addressed before the world's first voluntary incentive auction can occur.  The National Association of Broadcasters' federal court appeal, complaining that member stations viewing areas are being reduced in the FCC-ordered repacking exercise, has the potential to significantly disrupt the FCC's plans, and the wireless industry's ability to access much needed radio spectrum.  The bottom line is that consumers don't win if industries lawyer up and go to battle in court. TIA stands ready to work with all parties to ensure a successful voluntary incentive auction in mid-2015."

SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
8/19/2014 | 4:16:59 PM
chatty cars
I think the vehicle-to-vehicle communication sounds pretty cool. Anything that can make driving safer, especially with the advent of infotainment and in-car apps, is a good thing, in my opinion. Glad they're thinking safety first, WiFi second.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
The Human Gain of the Smart Home
Robin Mersh, 10/20/2014
Zayo Zooms Out of the IPO Gate
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 10/17/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed