Improvements in spectrum efficiency do not take place at a fast-enough rate to eliminate the need for the reallocation of spectrum from legacy uses to general-purpose use by mobile broadband networks. Auctions in particular and a broad liberalization of spectrum use in general are essential to meeting consumer needs for mobile broadband services.
Spectrum: The Capital that Drives Wireless Competition
A year ago, the National Broadband Plan called for the release of 500 MHz of new spectrum to mobile network operators, and despite a lot of talk, nothing has been done to implement this recommendation in the interim. The proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, motivated by the spectrum crunch, should serve as a reminder that mobile competition depends on the resolution of the spectrum issue. Not only are spectrum squatters hindering next-generation handsets and applications, they’re impairing market competition for mobile broadband.