FCC at CTIA: 'Spectrum Is Oxygen'

In the opening CTIA keynote, new FCC head Julius Genachowski says that spectrum is key to the mobile future in the US

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

October 7, 2009

1 Min Read
FCC at CTIA: 'Spectrum Is Oxygen'

SAN DIEGO -- CTIA WIRELESS IT & Entertainment -- The new chief at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that a lack of suitable spectrum would be the biggest impediment to the growth of the wireless industry in the future, in his opening CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment 2009 show.

"Spectrum is oxygen," FCC chairman Julius Genachowski told the conference crowd Wednesday morning. "The biggest threat to the future of mobile of America is the looming spectrum crisis."

Spectrum availability is "adequate for now", he continued, but the FCC is anticipating potential shortages in the future. "We will need a lot more spectrum...

"The FCC, in recent years, has authorized a threefold increase in spectrum. The problem is that some anticipate a thirtyfold increase in traffic."

The situation will be worsened as more carriers move toward wireless broadband 4G networks. More handsets will come online, as well as data-guzzling netbooks and mobile Internet devices.

As they look to deploy next-gen networks, carriers are asking for more spectrum: anything from 40 MHZ to 150 MHz for coverage, Genachowski said.

Better spectrum management, WiFi off-loading, femtocells, and smart antennas all offer ways to squeeze more out of existing spectrum, the FCC boss noted. But the agency will have to also consider spectrum reallocation over time, he said.

"There are no easy pickings," he told the crowd.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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