Key portions of presentations given by Spectrum Bridge
The secondary spectrum market was created by the FCC to enable “spectrum to flow more freely among users and uses in response to economic demand.” The Commission recently put out a Notice of Inquiry on the secondary market and how it can be more efficient. They want to encourage spectrum holders who have licenses to put them to use – whether that’s through selling, leasing, partitioning, disaggregating, etc. For the vision to work there needs to be a favorable regulatory environment and a favorable market – and the time is NOW.
One of the most vocal commissioners working on secondary market rules and driving the initiatives behind them is Meredith Attwell Baker. In a recent interview with The Hill, Commissioner Baker stated:
“We need a more vibrant secondary market. I’m talking about more spectrum sharing between private and federal. There’s going to be a lot that can be done in those areas that almost all depend on a better database. One of the recommendations you’re going to see is a more user-friendly, a more thorough database that can be used on an hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute basis.” “We need to find more spectrum, I think we need to leverage the spectrum that exists currently more efficiently, and we need to encourage new technologies an innovation.”
- FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, November 24, 2009Commissioner Baker is encouraging the secondary spectrum market to find alternative uses for spectrum, to find more efficient uses of spectrum, and to build a centralized database that allows utilization of spectrum on an as-needed basis.
With new spectrum possibilities forming, a license holder has more opportunities and options to engage in spectrum transactions, whereas a seeker of licensed frequencies will see more spectrum available than originally thought (search available licenses). Due to the favorable regulatory environment, favorable FCC rulings, and being able to re-task traditional uses of spectrum, new applications are being developed.
Spectrum is an asset that is no longer being sought after by carriers alone. Nontraditional players are now getting into the spectrum arena, not for the core of their business model, but as end-users of spectrum. Federal initiatives are impelling more spectrum ownership by utilities, railways, and private enterprises:
- Utilities are purchasing AMTS and former IVDS spectrum for smart grid applications
- New entrants from railroads seeking positive train control (PTC) solutions are using 220 MHz for intelligent transportation systems
- New entrants, service providers and private networks looking to utilize TV white spaces
Next in the series, we’ll talk about some possible scenarios for private enterprises looking for a spectrum solutions…