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Calabrese: Spectrum is Sexy
Written by Dave Burstein   
Monday, 07 February 2011 14:51
Michael_Calabrese"In Washington, spectrum is sexy" comments Mike Calabrese of the New America Foundation. "It got the centerfold of the National Broadband Plan. Spectrum has the money, thanks to proposed auctions, and every budget hawk is swooping down." Calabrese is one of the most influential analysts in D.C. At 4GWE, he spoke about the necessary next steps: using spectrum more efficiently. More spectrum is good but more efficiency is even better. My guess is that likely gains from efficiency are four or five times as large as what will be gained from more available spectrum.

Freeing more spectrum, from broadcasters, government, and others is a good move but not sufficient for the wireless broadband future we hope for. "Exclusive licensing falls short over time. There is simply not enough new spectrum that can be cleared of current uses. Yet most frequency bands are grossly underutilized. We need to open bands for more shared access using dynamic spectrum techniques such as cognitive radio. We need certainty that there will be continued unlicensed access to some of the TV White Spaces spectrum after any auction and repacking. ...

With the singleminded focus on auctions, we're not laying the foundation for bandsharing. When you go out and measure the use of the spectrum, even in urban areas, 90% of the good spectrum is not being used in most places and most times.  We have tremendous unutilized capacity.  We have to build on the broadcast white spaces database by adding many other frequencies, Intensive spectrum reuse, low power locally, is the way we are going to meet the problem of broadband capacity. We need more efficient use."