FCC at CTIA: 'Spectrum Is Oxygen'
"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