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CTIA Insists There Is No Spectrum Conspiracy
Their Evidence? People Like To Use Mobile Data.
by Karl Bode 04:27PM Thursday Feb 03 2011
The other day an anonymous FCC insider claimed that there was an effort afoot to "manufacture" a spectrum crisis. This is nothing new -- people have been suggesting for some time that carriers like AT&T have been hoarding spectrum to create artificial scarcity and keep pesky upstarts out of the market, and Uncle Sam is always eager to make a few additional billion at auction. Tired of being picked on by the FCC as the primary culprit in inefficient spectrum use, broadcasters last week lashed out at the wireless industry and Time Warner Cable for "hoarding" spectrum they've no intention of using, insisting we needed a nationwide spectrum audit. Apparently annoyed, the wireless industry's primary trade group has issued a response insisting there is no spectrum "conspiracy":
quote:
After reading a number of letters and articles recently that suggested that the upcoming spectrum crisis has been fabricated, I thought it would make sense for someone at CTIA to weigh in to the discussion. So I began to look back at the material, and to steal a line from my friend, "Really?" Honestly, I am in disbelief that I am responding to this. Are people really arguing that there is no explosion in mobile use, or that carriers are warehousing spectrum, or that the solution will be found simply in the use of femto or pico cells, as the article attached to a recent NAB filing suggests? If so, they certainly haven’t met my family, or anyone under the age of 21.
The CTIA then goes on at great length exploring how wireless data use is absolutely exploding. The problem is, nobody is debating whether or not data use is exploding. What people are debating is whether or not there's a spectrum "crisis," or if the nation's biggest companies are squatting on a precious public resource. You'll note the CTIA doesn't mention once the possibility that any of its clients could be spectrum squatting or lagging on deployment, though taking a look at purchases over the last five years suggests AT&T and Verizon have acquired quite a nice nest of unused spectrum. Verizon's CEO is on record saying there really is no spectrum crisis, despite previous comments to the contrary.

So is there a spectrum crisis, or are we simply dealing with a bunch of massive companies hoarding a precious resource for a variety of reasons (killing off free TV? preventing additional competition?) The CTIA tells us they do support a national inventory of unused spectrum, though they didn't respond to our question about whether or not they'd support "use it or lose it" rules to ensure a company like AT&T or Time Warner Cable is actually putting their spectrum to use.

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Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

Use it or lose it...

Every purchase should have the condition that you use it in X years or you forfeit it with no refunds.
mitsu06mr

join:2010-06-07
Ozone Park, NY

to the poster above

Skippy did you actually read the article?

Post something alittle more educating next time please.

thomasr

join:2010-01-21
Winston Salem, NC
kudos:1

Re: to the poster above

said by mitsu06mr:

Skippy did you actually read the article?

Post something alittle more educating next time please.

Skippy is correct. AT&T and Verizon have bought up a ton of spectrum and are not fully utilizing it. Time Warner and Comcast are working with Clearwire/Sprint, who themselves have went around buying up rights to use broadcasters EBS spectrum in each area to hold it hostage nationwide.

The FCC should claw back tons of spectrum from everyone involved all the way around. Once all the spectrum has been accounted for, there should be strict limits on who can buy how much -- all with the fine print stating if you do not use it in "x" - years, you loose it!

Companies that have been known the squat on these resources should have to answer for their childishness and greed in the matter. Qualcom for example is known for squatting in hopes of becoming rich one day when someone comes looking to purchase usage rights on the frequencies.

Is there a spectrum crisis? NO! It is just another tactic being used to keep everyone from realizing their business model will never survive -- there simply is not enough spectrum for that to ever be a reality. These companies "know" good and well that these technologies have limits, so they need to quit making it look like it is everyone else's fault that they have come close to reaching their limits.

How many more cell towers do consumers have to bring on their knees before realizing the technologies are simply oversold to begin with?

Corporations have never cared about depleting natural resources, and in this case, you could make the same comparison time and time again. Once it is gone, you can not pull any more out of anyone's butt.

Gbcue
Premium
join:2001-09-30
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:8

Audit

Do an audit. Give the unused spectrum(s) to Amateur Radio.
--
My Blog 2.2

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Re: Audit

said by Gbcue:

Do an audit. Give the unused spectrum(s) to Amateur Radio.

LOL! You are a dreamer for sure. Hams aren't using much above 2 meters.

jdofazz

@170.177.253.x

Re: Audit

Plenty of hams on 70cm UHF, less so above that
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

1 recommendation

Yes the crisis is manufactured!

There will be a plan presented later this month at an advanced ATSC symposium that will show how TV channels 38-51 could effectively be used twice or even four times for both broadcast TV and 4G mobile cellular while improving the performance of both. For such an ingenious plan that maximizes spectrum efficiency to ever happen the channels 38-51 spectrum must remain in the TV Band and the FCC must stop catering to the CTIA's wet dreams.
michigandave

join:2007-05-16
Fenton, MI

Audit? What's the big deal?

A broadcaster can't sit on a Construction Permit to build out a new AM/FM/TV station so why wouldn't the same hold true for other wireless operators?
--


thomasr

join:2010-01-21
Winston Salem, NC
kudos:1

Re: Audit? What's the big deal?

said by michigandave:

A broadcaster can't sit on a Construction Permit to build out a new AM/FM/TV station so why wouldn't the same hold true for other wireless operators?

Broadcasters themselves are guilty for setting on "some" spectrum, hence why Clearwire/Sprint was able to find it and purchase rights to it's use. There is even some spectrum meant for building intercity or metro relays that sometimes set in limbo long periods of time -- Simply because of budget constraints keeping them from actually doing what they say they will do with it in a timely manner.

The first obligation is having to worry about shareholders and investors - no matter what gets held up in the process.

It happens in all areas of broadcast - radio, tv and communications.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: Audit? What's the big deal?

Spectrum is a stock certificate. You can keep it forever. You don't have to sell it, or participate in proxy meetings (use it). Its always worth money. EBS (Clear 2.5) was handed out no questions asked to any non-profit that could mail in the form. BRS (Clear 2.5) and or MMDS (2.5 again) I'm not sure why it there were zero conditions on it, or it it was auctioned or granted on "merit". Look at a coverage map. Especially Tmobile or Sprint. Look at Sprint's spectrum map and compare it to Sprint's native network coverage. Sprint covers, MAYBE 5% of its spectrum by area »people.ku.edu/~cinema/wireless/spcs_map.html The FCC is a sellout. Time to reauction all the spectrum that DOESN'T have transmitters in it, or allow whitespace in PCS spectrum. You'll see 1000s of towers fly up overnight if the PCS carriers were given an ultimatum.

thomasr

join:2010-01-21
Winston Salem, NC
kudos:1

Re: Audit? What's the big deal?

said by patcat88:

Spectrum is a stock certificate. You can keep it forever. You don't have to sell it, or participate in proxy meetings (use it). Its always worth money. EBS (Clear 2.5) was handed out no questions asked to any non-profit that could mail in the form. BRS (Clear 2.5) and or MMDS (2.5 again) I'm not sure why it there were zero conditions on it, or it it was auctioned or granted on "merit". Look at a coverage map. Especially Tmobile or Sprint. Look at Sprint's spectrum map and compare it to Sprint's native network coverage. Sprint covers, MAYBE 5% of its spectrum by area »people.ku.edu/~cinema/wireless/spcs_map.html The FCC is a sellout. Time to reauction all the spectrum that DOESN'T have transmitters in it, or allow whitespace in PCS spectrum. You'll see 1000s of towers fly up overnight if the PCS carriers were given an ultimatum.

We've been lobbying for 700mhz whitespace for so long I have forgotten. Do not even get me started on how each and every major carrier fights tooth and nail to make sure whitespace anything will never happen. They've been complaining this entire time that it would cause them too much interference and they would not be able to operate if these devices were allowed.

I know there may be "some" valid point to this, but the major players also paid handsomely for their bits and pieces of the 700's at auction. They haven't even rolled anything past testing themselves. But yet they have fought and argued since whitespace became such a common idea. Squashing innovation is more like it... approximately 10 years or better of dog eat dog and only the big will survive.

Microsoft and Google, right off of the top of my hat have tested these networks on their campuses on and off (possibly still on) in the past few years. The technology exists, but few if any are working too hard on it.

They've just gotten around to naming all of the companies that will house databases that will integrate into their plans. The system will use GPS to be area specific, and will get information from the databases on channel availabilities and such for friendly operation with licensed carriers in the area.

Some hardware exists, databases yet to be made -- already been waiting years... seems like it will be a little while longer.

Unless any PTP equipment were to be given experimental licenses. I've heard rumors that there were some PTP equipment for site to site links in the works. I'll keep my fingers crossed they make the cut. I've run across some cheap looking stuff on the wild Internet, so cheap I would never think of buying it. I would be afraid it would be a re-engineered radio rigged half wavelength to it's original intended purpose. Not to mention it would probably have the FCC pulling up in your drive hunting the emitter, once turned on for a few days.

I have not understood everything yet, will be nice to get some good wireless networking gear FINALLY, however it all works out.

Now we just need to remind the Bells, in the late 80's early 90's, they promoted their butt's off about fiber optics and that they were running them everywhere and would be there to see us to where the light could take us. HA! I remember them running it overhead and digging up everywhere in between during this time. The fiber was laid, it's there, lit more than likely... but where is my connection to my home? Everyone in 1996 got mad! By 2000 - 2002, they were in positions to fight back on 1996. They've been wrapped up the past ten years undoing all of that....and I still have not gotten that connection of FTTH.

Let's not forget the hard times everyone is going through for the past few years too. There simply has not been much spent towards getting us fast connections, wired or wireless and we have been headed down that course for way too long! Sure some technologies we do have are OK, but they are long past showing their ill's and have long needed overhauling. Maybe everyone should revolt... no, bad idea.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

Re: Audit? What's the big deal?

said by thomasr:

Now we just need to remind the Bells, in the late 80's early 90's, they promoted their butt's off about fiber optics and that they were running them everywhere and would be there to see us to where the light could take us. HA! I remember them running it overhead and digging up everywhere in between during this time. The fiber was laid, it's there, lit more than likely... but where is my connection to my home? Everyone in 1996 got mad! By 2000 - 2002, they were in positions to fight back on 1996. They've been wrapped up the past ten years undoing all of that....and I still have not gotten that connection of FTTH.

A real national broadband plan would be based on fiber to the premises and it would probably be reasonable to expect fiber broadband to eventually reach 97% of the U.S. population. Wireless is an excellent supplement to fiber but only a third world country would base a national broadband plan predominately on wireless because wireless bandwidth will never be able to compete with fiber bandwidth. Unfortunately some in our government and some major corporations don't seem to care if we become part of the third world as long as their in power or can make lots of bucks.