With the U.S. facing a spectrum crunch, the Federal Communications Commission wants 500MHz of new spectrum for mobile broadband within the next decade.
Concerned about the current crunch on spectrum, the Federal Communications
Commission claims the allocation of 500MHz of new spectrum for mobile broadband
will stimulate $120 billion in near-term value and hundreds of billions of
dollars for the U.S.
economy over time.
Spectrum is leveraged by wireless communication devices, including
smartphones and tablet computers. Data consumption on these mobile devices has
seen a major rise in adoption; more people are using them to surf the Web, send
text messages, play video games and shoot video.
Data use on these devices and applications has triggered a dearth in
spectrum the FCC would like to see addressed sooner rather than later because
it takes anywhere from six to 13 years to provision.
"The explosive growth in mobile communications is outpacing our ability
to keep up," claimed FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
"If we don't act to update our spectrum policies for the 21st century,
we're going to run into a wall-a spectrum crunch-that will stifle American innovation
and economic growth and cost us the opportunity to lead the world in mobile
To wit, the FCC's National Broadband Plan calls for 500MHz of new spectrum
for mobile broadband within 10 years.
That includes 300MHz allocated for mobile use within five years. The FCC
believes the country will be operating at a spectrum deficit of 300MHz over
that time if this call to action goes unmet.
This proposal has the support of President Barack Obama, who in June called
for 500MHz of new spectrum to be allocated for fixed and mobile broadband use.
The FCC outlines the financial potential of this allocated spectrum in its
Oct. 21 whitepaper "Mobile Broadband: The Benefits of Additional Spectrum
The paper details how the amount of mobile data consumed by Americans will
soon exceed capacity of carriers' wireless networks and that allocating more
spectrum will provide a huge financial boost to the mobile economy.
This includes the creation of new jobs and "breakthrough tools to
improve education through mobile online learning, enhancing health care through
potentially life-saving remote diagnostics, and promoting energy efficiency by
supporting the smart grid."
The FCC March 16 unveiled
its National Broadband Plan, which calls for a massive
overhaul of the U.S. Internet infrastructure during the next decade and opening
up the country's wireless spectrum to accommodate new devices.
The FCC's proposal aims to invest billions of dollars to give more Americans
access to high-speed broadband service, including connecting 100 million U.S.
households to 100M-bps broadband service by 2020.
Companies such as Google are in full support of the National Broadband Plan
because it promises to provide a larger audience for its Web applications. More
Internet-connected users means a greater potential application footprint for
Google, which is currently testing
ultra high-speed broadband networks.