U.S. Wireless Carriers Ask President Obama to Clear Government Spectrum Bands Below 3 GHz
Today, CTIA and carrier members serving more than 92 percent of U.S. wireless customers sent a letter to President Obama asking for his leadership to direct the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to clear unused and underutilized government spectrum bands below 3 gigahertz (GHz). Even though the U.S. wireless industry offers Americans the most innovative products and services in the world, additional spectrum is vital to fueling its ecosystem’s “virtuous cycle.” The letter was signed by some of CTIA’s carrier members, who represent more than 92 percent of U.S. wireless customers. They are: AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets President and CEO Ralph de la Vega; Cellcom President and CEO Patrick Riordan; Sprint President and CEO Dan Hesse; T-Mobile USA President and CEO Philipp Humm; U.S. Cellular President and CEO Mary Dillon; and Verizon Wireless President and CEO Dan Mead. In the letter, the signatories ask President Obama to direct NTIA, which is responsible for managing the government’s spectrum holdings, to free cleared, paired and internationally-harmonized bands below 3GHz. To meet the important goals that were in President Obama’s Wireless Initiative and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Plan, access to spectrum in these bands is critical. “The U.S. wireless industry wants to remain the envy of the world by continuing to offer our customers the best and most innovative products and services. In order to meet current and projected demands for wireless technology, we must get more spectrum. By allowing our members to purchase the spectrum at auction, the U.S. Treasury will generate billions of dollars of revenue and in turn, we will continue to invest in America and Americans,” said Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA. Economists have predicted that for every dollar invested in wireless Internet, another $7-10 will be created for the nation’s GDP. There is strong support by President Obama, numerous Members of Congress, the FCC and other policymakers to auction unused and underused spectrum to ensure its highest and best use. The benefits of such an auction are also supported by 112 of the nation's leading economists (including Nobel Prize winners, former members of both Democratic and Republican administrations and former FCC Chief Economists). Other countries want to emulate the tremendous success of the U.S. wireless industry, which is why a number of OECD countries have already made hundreds of megahertz of spectrum available for their wireless industries.