& cplSiteName &

Spectrum Spats: Chatty Cars, Busy Broadcast Airwaves

Sarah Thomas
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        ADD A COMMENT
 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.
Featured Video
From The Founder
The world of virtualization is struggling to wrench itself away from the claws of vendor lock-in, which runs counter to everything that NFV stands for.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
21st Century Networking? Welcome to the Lock-In
Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
How Long Before We Hit Peak MWC?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 2/23/2018
Stakes Run High for Tivo in Comcast Suit
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/20/2018
Liberty Global: Not So Fast on D3.1
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
AT&T Reveals Initial 5G Cities
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/21/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed