Late yesterday, CTIA and six tech and telecom trade associations (ITI, High-Tech Spectrum Coalition, TIA, Wireless Broadband Coalition, CEA and 4G Americas) sent a letter to Chairmen Upton and Walden and Ranking Members Waxman and Eshoo to continue to highlight the wireless industry's need for more spectrum. The allocation of additional spectrum to support licensed services will enable carriers to meet consumers' insatiable demands for wireless products and services, incent the deployment of new infrastructure and support continued innovation in the device and applications markets. By helping to spur the virtuous cycle of investment and innovation, it also will have a significant economic impact on the U.S. economy. Some of those benefits are highlighted in this "By the Numbers: Spectrum" piece below.
As the letter notes, over the past two years, actual traffic on licensed mobile networks has exceeded all the forecasts used by the FCC in developing the National Broadband Plan spectrum allocation recommendations.
- Between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012, traffic on licensed mobile networks almost doubled.
- Cisco's U.S. mobile data forecast projects that mobile data traffic will increase 18 times from 2011 to 2016.
- Ericsson predicts that, over the next 5 years, mobile data traffic will grow 15 times.
With numbers like that, spectrum efficiency and tower deployment alone won't be enough, though our members are committed to both. We'll also need more spectrum, and soon.
I know that in election season, it's often tough for Republicans and Democrats to agree on much of anything, but the allocation of additional spectrum to support the wireless ecosystem certainly should enjoy bipartisan support.