Shortage of mobile spectrum – or is it just finding the right price?

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski again got on the data avalanche bandwagon in a recent Fortune interview  and declared a “major spectrum crisis”. In the figure to the left, the FCC has calculated the projected “spectrum deficit”. These figures of course look nice, but even the FCC knows, that these figure are good making an argument by giving only one side of the story.  this is unfortunately completely missed in most of the popular stories  that go around now in the business press as  operators around the world  have problem meeting the data demand.   An FCC report on the spectrum shortage already in 2010  (from which the above figures actually emanate) the obvious is stated that the alternative to more spectrum is a denser infrastructure – more base stations – and it wont be cheap: the FCC estimated already then the alternative cost (of building denser infrastructure) of the deficit in 2014 to staggering 120BUSD. So, yes the industry needs more spectrum – to save money. The interesting thing with a figure like that is that we now can discuss what would be worth if we could move other services in attractive band (military, TV, Radio navigation etc) somewhere else to free more spectrum for mobile use.

Jens Zander

About Jens Zander

Professor Jens Zander is professor in Radio Communication Systems at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. He has been among the few in Swedens Ny Teknik magazine's annual list of influential people in ICT that have been given the epithet “Mobile Guru”. He is one of the leading researchers in mobile communication and is the Scientific director of the industry/academia collaboration center Wireless@KTH. His research group focuses on three main areas – the efficient and scalable use of the radio frequency spectrum, economic aspects of mobile systems and application and energy efficiency in future wireless infrastructures.
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