Mobile Future

Mobile Future to National Economic Council: Unleash Spectrum So Wireless Can Stimulate Economy

Points to Secondary Market Solutions to Help Alleviate Immediate Spectrum Pressures
And Urges Administration to Question Claims Refuting Need for More Mobile Spectrum

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mobile Future Chairman Jonathan Spalter sent a letter to Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council, encouraging the Obama Administration to swiftly make more wireless spectrum available in both the short- and long-term to meet exploding consumer demand, fuel our technology-driven economy and continue to unleash investment and innovation.

In the letter, Mobile Future applauds President Obama for recognizing that mobile broadband and spectrum are crucial inputs for growing the economy and creating new jobs and praises the inclusion of voluntary spectrum incentive auctions in the American Jobs Act. With recent data showing that adding more spectrum for mobile would spur 500,000 new jobs and $385 billion in additional GDP, enacting legislation to authorize spectrum auctions will play a critical role in speeding the nation’s economic recovery.

Acknowledging that getting spectrum to the market will take several years, Mobile Future urges the Administration to support near term solutions by implementing policies supporting secondary market solutions to alleviate the spectrum pressures and accommodate growing consumer demand for mobile broadband.

The letter takes issue with the few voices who dispute the need for more spectrum.  Broadcasters have questioned whether wireless carriers are maximizing spectrum and Sprint has argued that its competitors are not capacity constrained.  Facts show, however, that the U.S. wireless sector has the most efficient service providers in the world, serving three times more customers and providing twice as many minutes of usage with its mobile spectrum allocation than many of its global counterparts.

The fact is, mobile broadband providers are working hard to handle the spectrum crunch in the near term to meet consumer demand. For example:

  • Sprint, through its majority interest in Clearwire, has access to nearly 170-205 MHz of spectrum in an average market, according to one analyst’s estimate – more spectrum than any other provider, including Verizon Wireless and AT&T.
  • Verizon Wireless, with its acquisition of the 22 MHz Upper 700 MHz C Block licenses and access to almost 85-90 MHz of spectrum nationwide on average, is deploying 4G LTE throughout the U.S.
  • AT&T’s proposal to merge with T-Mobile is intended to provide a fast, efficient and certain solution to the impending wireless spectrum exhaustion in many of its markets. According to one source, the merger will provide the combined company with access to

135-145 MHz of spectrum on average, across the country and will allow for the deployment of its 4G LTE coverage to more than 97 percent of the U.S. population.

“The transformative nature of mobile wireless communications is among the most astounding achievements of the last quarter century, but we cannot realize our full broadband potential to create jobs and increase the GDP without access to more spectrum,” said Mobile Future Chair Jonathan Spalter. ”At this critical moment in our nation’s history, we urge the Administration to actively encourage — and not inhibit — private sector innovation and investment, and the benefits they will bring to our economy, our jobs outlook, and our global competitiveness.”

To view the letter, click here: www.mobilefuture.org/NEC

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Mobile Future is a coalition of cutting-edge technology and communications companies, consumers and a diverse group of non-profit organizations, working to support an environment which encourages investment and innovation in the dynamic wireless sector. Our mission is to help inform and educate the public and key decision makers in business and government on the broad range of wireless innovations that are transforming our society and the nation’s economy.