Optical/IP Networks

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

lrmobile_kumaramitabh 12/5/2012 | 3:54:39 PM
re: FCC at CTIA: 'Spectrum Is Oxygen'

The FCC chief was quite right in saying that Spectrum is Oxygen. However it seems that he is forgetting that the Oxygen is across the globe.

Some of the recent spectrum actions of FCC are putting it more and more out of phase with the spectrum allocations in Europe and Asia, with the result that common uses and roaming in the future may be seriously compromised.

The Digital dividend bands, for example are different in Europe and USA. This is in itself not bad, but the fact is that these are likely to be used for LTE as AT&T and Verizon may be major winners. This would make the "American" LTE operate in different bands than "European LTE".

Globally harmonized allocations of Spectrum, which happen in WRC seem to have lesser and lesser importance as majo countries and regions assign spectrum. The bands in USA such as BRS,AWS, WCS have no parallels. Most the services in these bands interfere with each other. The very reason that there were different bands and guidelines was that there should be lower incidences of interference.

As wireless devics increase, we are entering into the era of unpredictibility as well.




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