Wireless Spectrum Takes Over a Decade to Allocate, CTIA Says

by Istvan Fekete on July 22, 2015

According to a new study released by CTIA, on average, it takes 13 years for regulators to reallocate wireless spectrum and deploy it to consumers. The lobbying organization said that it believes the wireless industry needs more than 350 MHz of new spectrum by 2020 to cope with rising mobile data demand.

The study, authored by Thomas K. Sawanobori, SVP and Chief Technology Officer, and Dr. Robert Roche, VP, Research Public Affairs, says that by 2019 the US will see a 78-fold increase in wireless data use over the 2010 level. As a result, after taking into account additional infrastructure and increased spectral efficiencies, CTIA has concluded that an increase of more than 350 MHz of licenced spectrum will be necessary to meet the demand for mobile data.

“Today, the federal government has sole or primary use of between 60-70 percent of spectrum suitable for wireless broadband,” they wrote. “Given this fact, every administration plays a key role in coordinating agencies’ efforts before, during, and after spectrum reallocation efforts.”

At the same time, they also highlight a time lag in the deployment of new licenced spectrum: After analyzing data provided by the National Broadband Plan, the authors of the study found that the process of reallocating spectrum for wireless takes between 6 and 18 years (13 years average) from FCC Order to first deployment.

The time lag is caused by multiple factors, they say: the critical roles of Congress and of the Administration, clearing existing users, etc. The latter process, for example, took several years and caused multiple delays for the 700 MHz wireless spectrum licences auctioned in 2008.

Other factors causing the time lag mentioned by the study are technical issues, network equipment, chipsets, and handset design and manufacture, among other relevant issues.

Did you like this post? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Previous post:

Next post: