Who's Really Playing the Spectrum Game
Last Wednesday, Chris testified before the House Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation panel titled, “Avoiding the Spectrum Crunch: Growing the Wireless Economy Through Innovation.” The day before the hearing, a reporter from the New York Times wrote a story that questioned whether there really is a spectrum crunch, questioning whether carriers were “playing a game” in calling for additional spectrum. But what the reporter failed to address were two very fundamental questions.
- If there is a viable solution allowing the industry to address the “hockey stick” growth it is experiencing in terms of usage, users and uses, that is more cost efficient and effective than spending billions of dollars that our members have bid for spectrum in previous auctions, wouldn’t our carriers use it?
- If the spectrum crisis is fabricated, then is there a worldwide conspiracy to perpetuate it? Because around the globe, other countries have moved or are moving to make additional spectrum available for commercial use. So either everyone’s in on it, or - and this is much, much more likely - the whole world is going mobile and other countries are seeing the same demands as the U.S. Take a look at the flag chart below and you’ll see that when you compare U.S. users and usage, we lead the pack in a variety of meaningful metrics. Yet when you look at how much spectrum we have available and what’s in the pipeline, we are behind. And that’s the point.