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The Myth of Spectrum Scarcity

Michael Calabrese, Vice President; Director, Wireless Future Program, New America Foundation

Date: Friday, October 30

Time: 4:00 - 4:20 PM

Location: Transformatorhuis

The conventional wisdom among policymakers is that spectrum is scarce and that without massive increases in exclusively licensed spectrum, 4G wireless data services will be hamstrung. The ITU is projecting a need for 500 to 1000 MHz more spectrum for licensing. The reality is that the only scarcity is government permission to access frequencies; spectrum capacity itself is grossly abundant and wasted in most places at most times. This talk examines why carriers should be and will be driven increasingly toward hybrid arrangements that share spectrum. Opportunistic access to underutilized bands, and new forms of common pool capacity leasing, will bail out carriers, promote market entry and innovation, and benefit consumers most of all.

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