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Wireless Networking United States

Citigroup Questions Whether US Spectrum Shortage Exists 131

alphadogg writes "For more than two years, the U.S. mobile industry has warned of an upcoming spectrum shortage, but two analysts at Citigroup don't buy it. AT&T, trade group CTIA and even officials with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission have talked frequently about a coming spectrum crunch, as mobile customers move to data-sucking smartphones and tablets. Smartphones use 24 times the spectrum compared to standard mobile phones, and tablets use 120 times the spectrum, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a speech on Tuesday. But Citigroup analysts Jason Bazinet and Michael Rollins questioned what has become the conventional wisdom in the mobile industry. The U.S. has plenty of spectrum for mobile broadband, but much of it is in the wrong hands, they said."
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Citigroup Questions Whether US Spectrum Shortage Exists

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  • Re:120x, 24x? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @11:23PM (#37581192)
    In bribes.
  • by schnell ( 163007 ) <me@sch n e l l . net> on Saturday October 01, 2011 @11:40PM (#37581244) Homepage

    According to the report, the "wrong hands" with control of spectrum that isn't being used or is underutilized are:

    • Clearwire (133 MHz)
    • Lightsquared (59 MHz)
    • Dish Network (47 MHz)

    Almost all of the above spectrum is in the less-desirable 2 GHz+ ranges. Clearwire may be underutilizing, but Lightsquared and Dish haven't gotten to launch their services yet so you can't really say it's underutilized when it's still in process of being developed.

    All in all, this report actually seems to make the case of the big carriers that there is still a shortage of "good" (especially less than 1 GHz) spectrum for broadband. Much of that is locked up by the broadcasters for stuff that is comparatively useless (anyone watching UHF television still these days?) versus having it available for mobile broadband.

  • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @11:56PM (#37581306) Homepage

    you can't really say it's underutilized when it's still in process of being developed


  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01, 2011 @11:58PM (#37581314)

    OK, wow. Where to start.

    First off, I guess, all of those listed bands are NOT in the "less desirable" 2GHz range, they are down in VHF. 133MHz is just outright wrong, I don't know where you got that from, but that's at the top of the aircraft band. For obvious reasons that is a very well protected and regulated part of the spectrum. If someone bought it up I doubt they will ever do anything with it, because the rules are very hard to comply with and there's no way in hell that consumer equipment would be allowed to transmit there.

    Ignoring the rest, you ask if anyone is still watching UHF TV nowadays. Yes, everybody is. What they got rid of is the VHF TV stations. Absolutely every broadcast station is in the UHF range.

    Along the funny side, a dish made for 47MHz would be about 10ft wide, minimum.

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @12:07AM (#37581364)

    Clearwire is probably underutilized because people don't want the towers which provide the service in their backyards.

    We've had a discussion about this in the past which I posted on (I'm too lazy to find it) where I said people in my area shot down a proposed tower because it would go up on a watertower in the park in their backyard.

    With so much citizen hatred for "screwing up their home values" perhaps that's the biggest problem facing this "underutilized" spectrum rather than the companies themselves.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev