Several recent developments have led many to question the assumption that auctions are always the best way of assigning spectrum to mobile operators.
Qualcomm could be in line for a significant profit as its 40 MHz of 1.4 GHz L-Band spectrum, purchased relatively cheaply in a 2008 UK auction, is approved and deployed for supplemental mobile downlinks (SDL). However, the company denies it bought the spectrum for hoarding or speculation, saying it decided to promote SDL technology as soon as it realised that mobile TV broadcasting would not be workable.
Politicians should be taking a long-term view rather than thinking that spectrum auctions can replace state-owned telcos as a cash lifeline.
Regional preparations for WRC-15 in the Americas show a strong diversity of views on finding new spectrum for mobile, with the US seeking a mobile allocation throughout the whole 470-698MHz band.
The Venezuelan government has been making progress in its spectrum allocation programme with two recent developments.
Chile’s undersecretary of telecommunications, Jorge Atton, announced in late April that the country will hold its 700MHz auction in August this year.
The actions of Stephen Conroy are coming under scrutiny after the Australian digital dividend auction left a third of the 700 MHz spectrum unsold.
As with the British digital dividend auction of 800 MHz spectrum earlier this year, the Australian 700 MHz auction has failed to meet government expectations but for very different reasons.
Our top stories this month deal with spectrum pricing, WiGig, small cells and the possible release of the 700 MHz band for mobile broadband in Europe. There are also updates from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Jamaica, Norway, Poland, South Africa and the UK.
Later this year the LTE spectrum situation is going to become a lot more complicated than it already is as operators start to deploy LTE Advanced. A major feature of this is Carrier Aggregation (CA), which binds disparate spectrum blocks into a single channel.
Poland's Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) has launched a consultation on future use of the 700 MHz band. One of the most likely scenarios involves earmarking the spectrum for wireless broadband Internet services, the regulator said.
UK regulator Ofcom’s proposals for a trial of white space devices later this year have been cautiously welcomed by the PMSE sector, though with caveats about the need to explain the value of PMSE to the white space community.
EU digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes is among the speakers lined up for a spectrum conference due to be held in Paris at the end of June.
As the deployment of small cells around the world accelerates, industry body the Small Cell Forum is finding it has to deal with a raft of regulatory and spectrum issues, often on a country-by-country or even a case-by-case basis.
WiGig, a newly-standardised wireless technology that operates in the 60 GHz band, is expected to get a big boost this year when the powerful Wi-Fi Alliance absorbs the Wireless Gigabit Alliance and launches an interoperability certification programme.
If broadcasters are moved from the 700 MHz band and new equipment is needed for viewers to continue receiving TV services, what is their incentive to go out and buy it?
Pressure is growing in the ‘capital of Europe’ for the relaxation of environmental restrictions that are preventing the launch of 4G services.
Helen Goodman MP, the telecoms spokesperson for the UK's opposition Labour party, has clarified her position on the country’s recent spectrum auction, having initially appeared to criticise regulator Ofcom for a perceived shortfall in revenues.
Only a very few countries, such as Switzerland, the UK and the USA, reflect their stated policy goals directly in their spectrum pricing regimes, a white paper published by SBR Juconomy Consulting has concluded.
Jamaica and Austria are actively seeking new mobile operators, their regulators said in recently published spectrum auction documents.