Feature Article

February 02, 2012

FCC Leader Explores Spectrum Crisis at ITEXPO Keynote

In case you couldn’t tell from the names of several sessions taking place this week at ITEXPO East 2012, mobile demand is creating a serious spectrum crunch.

“The typical smartphone uses an additional spectrum of 24 times that of prior phones,” Julius Knapp, chief office of engineering and technology of FCC, said during this morning’s keynote speech at ITEXPO, taking place this week from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3 in Miami, Fla. “The tablets consume 120 times as much, and multiple experts are forecasting that the overall demand for mobile data will increase more than 34 times the next four years.”

Whether we want to admit it or not, the spectrum crunch needs to start to take the spotlight, as mobile demand is exacerbating the issue and companies and commissions all over the world are being forced to address these issues.

The FCC is one organization that is examining ways to ameliorate the problem. In 2010, the FCC published a national broadband plan, a comprehensive plan to facilitate broadband deployment to the USA and to address the spectrum gap.

That plan is taking the forefront again now as mobile phone subscribers are now at about 328 million and 90 percent of phone owners keep their mobile phones turned on 24 hours as day, seven days a week, according to Knapp.

“Smartphone sales for the first time have exceeded computer sales,” he added.

The upside to the spectrum crunch is that it creates opportunities for innovation, jobs and investment, particularly as consumer demand for things like video conferencing and enterprise applications burgeons. As the demand for these services increases along with the demand for more spectrum, innovation will grow.

Currently, there is only about 50 MHz in the tank, Knapp said, so organizations everywhere are trying to figure out ways to open up additional broadband. From opening up TV spectra for mobile broadband usage, to advancing technologies like dynamic spectrum access, they are trying to find more ways to make use of spectrum.

For more on spectrum, check out a session titled “Managing the Spectrum Crisis” at 4GWE Conference taking place at 1 p.m. EST.

Want to learn more about 4G wireless technologies? Then be sure to attend the 4GWE Conference, collocated with TMC’s ITEXPO East 2012 taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. Co-sponsored by TMC Partner Crossfire Media the 4GWE Conference provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the wireless ecosystem. The conference not only brings together the best and brightest in the wireless industry, it actually spans the communications and technology industry. For more information on registering for the 4GWE Conference click here.

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Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for MobilityTechzone. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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