Monday, March 11, 2013

CTIA and WBC promotes international Spectrum Harmonization

A recent report by CTIA and the Wireless Broadband Coalition urge US regulators to harmonize the intended spectrum use for the bands 1755-1780Mhz and 2155-2180Mhz with international policies already in place. 

CTIA and WBC touch on an important aspect of wireless regulation and competition in the US. As the report indicates, significant savings and benefits can be achieved by harmonizing spectrum planning in the US with the rest of the world.

The two largest and obvious benefits stem from the costs involved to develop network infrastructure compatible with each specific spectrum band as well as handsets that will run on these networks.

When a frequency band is only used in a few countries, network vendors are less inclined to develop gear compatible with that band and hence operators have to pay a premium which they then have to pass on to their customers. The larger problem is that even when the network has been built, a very narrow ecosystem of devices will be available to the users. Few handset manufacturers will have phones ready for the operators to sell. This will lead to higher prices for the operators to procure handsets as well as competitive problems for carriers that compete with carriers who use harmonized spectrum.

This may sound trivial but some research point to significant savings and possibilities for new revenue.

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