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Scarce Spectrum ‘Gating Factor’ in Wireless Devices

Scarce Spectrum 'Gating Factor' in Wireless Devices

As the Internet migrates from the PC into Web-enabled wireless devices, spectrum scarcity has emerged as a big “gating factor” in the New Economy. That’s what FCC Chairman Bill Kennard told attendees of a private wireless industry group meeting Thursday.
“We are in danger of suffering a ‘spectrum drought’ in our country,” said Kennard. “From my vantage point, everybody seems to have a different solution.”
While spectrum auctions have made it possible for the agency to allocate spectrum more quickly and efficiently, he said, there’s more to be done.
Wireless devices use approximately 15% of the spectrum, with some 13 million transmitters and one million wireless licensees.
He said some estimate the U.S. would need as much as 300 MHz of additional spectrum to meet the demands of the wireless Web. Because of this, Kennard encouraged attendees to help the agency find ways to encourage secondary uses for underused spectrum to create an emerging market as there is for wireline bandwidth.
Leslie Stimson