The first stage of the highly anticipated spectrum incentive auction has closed and the FCC will soon move forward with the next stage. A multi-stage auction is no surprise, but the Temple of Gloom, also known as the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), chose to trot out their retreaded doubts about the need for additional mobile spectrum for consumers.
These doubts miss the point. In addition to the more than $23 billion bid in the first stage of the incentive auction, mobile broadband auctions have raised $61 billion over the last 8 years and wireless carriers have put up nearly $100 billion in capital investment over the past 3 years. This investment is necessary to keep up with the explosion of mobile data traffic, which in the United States will be almost 700 times greater in 2017 than it was in 2007. And demand for all types of spectrum – licensed, unlicensed and shared – will continue to grow to support high bandwidth services and applications, billions of new Internet of Things solutions, and the deployment of 5G.
Despite NAB’s nay-saying, demand for spectrum to serve the needs of wireless customers shows no signs of abating.