Exclusive versus Shared Spectrum: Scarcity to Abundance?

Spectrum SharingIn a bold move, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recommended for federal spectrum to be shared between federal and private sector. This radical departure from “business as usual” when it comes to spectrum management holds much promise for accelerating innovation in the wireless industry. Read more of this post

Would The Slicing and Dicing of Mobile Traffic Bound Growth?

Mobile Data Traffic Growth and Policy ControlIn a mid-year update on global mobile data traffic growth, ABI forecasts that the volume will exceed 107 exabytes in 2017, which is eight times the expected volume in 2012. According to ABI research analyst Aapo Markkanen “2015 will be the last year when the traffic volume will grow by more than 50% annually. And that will happen despite of the fact that the monthly average per wireless subscriber, worldwide, will increase to almost 1.5 gigabytes by the end of our forecasting period.” The key point made is that a large source of traffic has been inadvertent data use and this era will come to an end in the next couple of years as fixes are implemented in operating systems and at the application level. Read more of this post

Under the Microscope: AT&T’s Nextwave Acquisition

MicroscopeIn the most recent deal, AT&T filed to acquire Nextwave’s WCS (Wireless Communication Services) and AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) assets for $650 million. The bulk of this deal is about the WCS band, so what is this deal about and what does AT&T get for the money? Read more of this post

Setting a Value on the US 2.3 GHz WCS Band

WCS Spectrum ValuationWhen the WCS band was first auctioned off in 1997, 30 MHz of spectrum in 2.3 GHz was sold for $14.8 million. At the time, it seems reasonable to pay that much for spectrum with stringent regulatory requirements on RF out of band emissions to protect the adjacent satellite DARS band (Digital Audio Radio Service). Now, the picture is completely different: AT&T acquisition of Nextwave’s WCS and some AWS assets for $650 sets a new price for the WCS band. It also clearly demonstrates how in spectrum limited market with high demand for mobile broadband services, the price for higher frequencies can increase significantly. So what would the price of the WCS band be and are there any lessons to draw from it? Read more of this post