When it comes to spectrum, the business of America really is business
Jun 02, 2022 by Toby Youell


LocationBrazil, Canada, US
Tags2.6 GHz, 3.7 - 4.2 GHz, 900 MHz, Brazil, Canada, trading, United States

US President Calvin Coolidge famously said that “the business of America is business”. This is certainly the case for spectrum trading. The United States possesses the only significant spectrum market with any real liquidity. The reasons for this pro-trade culture is subject to debate.

Several companies have procured spectrum from other firms and have repurposed it for themselves or to sell on. Some attempts, such as T-Mobile’s leases of educational spectrum at 2.6 GHz, have been wildly successful.

The jury remains out for other initiatives, such as Anterix’s model of aggregating narrowband 900 MHz public safety licences and leasing them for broadband use cases.

Some projects, such as Lightsquared’s attempts to lease its own satellite spectrum for terrestrial users, have destroyed millions of dollars of value.

As shown in the US musical, the Producers, some failures can be quite lucrative. US satellite operators failed to sell the 3.7 – 4.2 GHz band directly to mobile operators, but did end up receiving $9.7 billion of incentive payments to accelerate their departure from the band.

These initiatives, and information about spectrum policy in the United States in general, are set out in our newly updated profile.

This week we also release updated country profiles for three important markets for 2022:

All country profiles are available to Spectrum Research Service subscribers here and are fully updated for 2022.