Mobile Future

Global Focus on Mobile Spectrum Shortage

Last Friday, our friends at Hogan Lovells hosted a great event, the Winnik International Telecoms & Internet Forum, at their office in DC. The terrific lineup of speakers discussed many important issues affecting the telecom sector around the world.

Top of mind for us at Mobile Future were some of the remarks from my former boss, Decker Anstrom, a telecom industry veteran who was selected to lead the U.S. delegation to the 2012 World Radio Conference earlier this year.

In his comments, Decker couldn’t have put it any more clearly:  “Anyone who tries to deny a spectrum crunch isn’t listening to what every telecommunications leader in the world is saying . . .  Everyone is asking for more mobile broadband spectrum.”

Here in the U.S., we’ve seen a huge spike in consumer demand for all things mobile – from using more data demanding wireless devices to improve access to healthcare and facilitate digital learning initiatives to significantly driving new economic opportunities, wireless services play a critical role in connecting us. However, the FCC predicts we could max out on existing spectrum capacity as early as next year.

This is an issue our leaders need to take seriously and they must act soon. This week, Mobile Future Chairman Jonathan Spalter sent a letter to new White House CTO Todd Park and Gene Sperling, National Economic Council Director, urging the President and his team to show strong leadership to help repurpose un- or under-utilized government spectrum assets for mobile.

As Decker explained, telecom leaders around the world are all clearly focused on the problem. Last year, the President set us on the right course with his bold wireless initiative but we need to keep the ball rolling now to free up more spectrum for mobile ensure a bright future for U.S. wireless users.