Mobile Future

Open Auctions Needed to Promote Continued Wireless Competition

In the Wall Street Journal, a new op-ed by Robert Hahn and Peter Passell notes that while the U.S. has just 5% of the world’s wireless subscribers, Americans account for more than half of all 4G LTE subscriptions globally.  Thanks to intense competition from wireless providers responding to consumer demand, U.S. wireless subscribers enjoy the latest and greatest in wireless technology over high-speed networks.

To continue these offerings, mobile service providers are clamoring for more wireless spectrum.  The upcoming spectrum incentive auction is one way to reallocate more of these airwaves for mobile services.  Hahn and Passell argue that as the FCC creates rules for the upcoming incentive auction, open eligibility allowing everyone to participate is one key to success.

And success is important – the revenue from the auction will not only repay the broadcasters for the spectrum they give up, but will give revenue to the U.S. Treasury for deficit reduction and fund a nationwide interoperable public safety network that stakeholders have been working toward for over 10 years.

Hampering innovation and investment by restricting auction participation at a time when so much is on the line will not only harm the outcome of the incentive auction itself, but may adversely affect the millions of wireless users who depend on mobile broadband connectivity every day.

To read the article, click here.