Mobile Future

New Analysis of Spectrum Transactions Shows FCC’s Proven Bipartisan Review Process is Highly Successful in Meeting American Consumer Needs

FCC’s Case-By-Case Approach Effective, Meets Needs of Diverse Wireless Marketplace

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mobile Future released a new paper “FCC Spectrum Auctions and Secondary Markets Policies: An Assessment of the Distribution of Spectrum Resources Under the Spectrum Screen,” analyzing the impact of the FCC’s case-by-case analysis of proposed spectrum holdings on the distribution of spectrum resources through auctions and secondary market transactions over the last decade.

Mobile Future’s analysis shows that significant spectrum resources have flowed not only to all four nationwide carriers, but also to non-nationwide carriers, and to small and very small businesses.  The paper concludes that the FCC’s current policy approach has proven successful in meeting the spectrum needs of a diverse landscape of wireless competitors.

Specific conclusions from the analysis:

  • There is no evidence that continuing to allow all wireless companies the opportunity to fully participate in spectrum auctions has prevented smaller carriers from acquiring the spectrum they need to compete.
  • There is an abundance of evidence from prior auctions and secondary market transactions that the FCC’s current approach of conducting case-by-case reviews of spectrum holdings has successfully balanced the public interest in encouraging a vibrant, innovative mobile marketplace and promoting a broad distribution of spectrum licenses.
  • Operators of all sizes have demonstrated over the past 10 years that they can successfully obtain spectrum via participation in auctions and secondary market transactions.
  • In light of the proven track record of the past 10 years, the FCC’s current policy of full auction participation, moderated by a case-by-case review of spectrum aggregation, is the most effective path to meeting the spectrum needs of a diverse wireless marketplace.

“Our analysis shows that the FCC’s current approach to the spectrum aggregation review process is working, and is enabling spectrum to flow to operators large and small, national and regional.  The old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” should be heeded by the Commission as it assesses  the request made by certain companies to restrict the full participation by their competitors in upcoming spectrum auctions. Tampering with the FCC’s successful and tested formula for reviewing spectrum holdings could threaten both the financial and technical objectives of these auctions,” Mobile Future Chair Jonathan Spalter said.

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Mobile Future is a coalition of cutting-edge technology and communications companies and a diverse group of non-profit organizations, working to support an environment that 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.