Friday, January 29, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
- Increasing access to all types of spectrum.
- Improving allocation to better match available spectrum to network and application demands
- Helping network operators more efficiently use spectrum to deliver more bandwidth
- SpecEx:The online marketplace for spectrum®. Find over $500 million of secondary market spectrum available for sale or lease - online.
- SmartWaves: The industry's leading spectrum asset manager and business analytic solution.
- ShowMyWhiteSpace TV white spaces database: This database powers the world's first TV white spaces wireless network in Claudville VA, as well as ShowMyWhiteSpace.com - where anyone can conduct a simple and free search to find available TV white spaces at any location in the United States. Spectrum Bridge submitted a proposal to the FCC to be named a white spaces database manager on January 4th.
- Universal Spectrum Access: Using database driven dynamic spectrum allocation to cost-effectively identify, manage and optimize spectrum use within (and across) wireless networks and application.
We’d like to hear from you about the impact that spectrum scarcity is having on your business or industry.
- How has spectrum availability influenced your business or industry’s wireless growth or expansion?
- What wireless services and applications do you see experiencing the biggest impact by spectrum availability?
- What do you think should be done from a policy or technical standpoint?
- What solutions are you employing or planning to deal with this issue?
CMO & Co-Founder
Spectrum Bridge Inc.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
It appears that there are only two of the nine proposals explicitly contemplate (as one possible way of collecting fees) charging the end user directly for access to the white spaces database. Additionally, only one of the proposals suggests that users will be charged multiple times or on an annual basis.
In the other proposals where user fees are discussed, charging the end user was not considered to be a real option. Given that the FCC is likely to choose one or more of the companies that do not intend to charge end users any fees, it appears that white spaces users will have multiple database managers to choose from who are not planning to charge any user fees. Spectrum Bridge is one of the companies that does not plan on charging end user fees.
Also, per the FCC's request, most the database manager proposals noted that they would provide free access to the database for incumbent and protected entities (like TV stations, wireless microphone users, etc) who currently use TV broadcast frequencies. Some of the proposals did not address this issue.
Several of the proposals (depending on how you interpret the responses) discuss or leave open the possibility of relying on a onetime "database fee" that gets built into the cost of the white spaces device at the time of purchase. This would cover the operation and maintenance of the database and would be similar to fees commonly paid by manufacturers - who often license software or technology from third-parties. Even in this scenario, there are no recurring database fees that the end user will pay to use the device or spectrum; the database fees would be included in the initial purchase price of the white spaces device.
Taking a sightly different approach than the rest of the proposals, at least two of proposals also suggest that they would consider charging TV white space network operators an initial and/or an annual fee based on the number of devices they manage in their network.
We all need to keep in mind that the business models, fees and other aspects included in the database manager proposals will likely get refined and altered by competitive market forces. Competition from multiple database managers will likely keep costs low, while potentially leading to new features and services that will help make TV white spaces a wireless resource we will all benefit from.
Friday, January 8, 2010
(For an overview on TV white spaces and the role of the database manager, see our previous blog post here.)
One question that came up recently had to do with how the white spaces database managers will be authorized, and it revealed a pretty significant misconception about the authorization process the FCC is undertaking. In the case of one reporter, there seemed to be the misunderstanding that the FCC is somehow going to "contract" with one or more companies to run the TV white spaces database and will therefore be funneling business and revenue to them. This is not the case.
Perhaps the confusion comes from trying to relate what the FCC is does to what other agencies do (like the DoD) when awarding "contracts" to private companies. In the case of the DoD they award a specific contact and dollar amount to a company to provide a product or service. In this case, money is being steered to a specific company and there are usually clear winners and losers in the process when taking a monetary point of view.
However, the FCC process for "authorizing" commercial third-party providers of services takes a much different approach and results in an entirely different outcome. Specifically, in the case of TV white spaces database managers, the FCC is authorizing companies to represent themselves as being able to meet the minimum requirements the FCC has set out in its previous Report and Order, as well as some new requirements spelled out in the recent Public Notice.
Once authorized, each of these companies then have to develop their own business model, find their own customers, determine their own pricing and even determine whether they actually want to go into the business of becoming a database manager; they are under no obligation to actually provide this service once authorized. And if more than one company is authorized, each will have to compete for business in the open market.
There are clear advantages to the FCC for authorizing more than one database manager:
- Increased market competition
- Lower fees and prices for users
- Redundant connectivity to physically separated database servers
- More opportunities for enhanced service from database managers
All of the 9 companies who applied to become database managers (including Spectrum Bridge) seem to agree that the FCC should authorize several managers for these and other reasons. We are indeed pleased to be among such a great group of companies being considered by the FCC.
Spectrum Bridge Inc.
Monday, January 4, 2010
By submitting our proposal, Spectrum Bridge can now be officially considered for, and selected as, a database manager by the FCC.
UPDATE: (1/5/2010) - follow this link to see all the 9 proposals submitted from:
- Spectrum Bridge
- Frequency Finder Inc.
- KB Enterprises LLC
The FCC has ruled that white space devices (like wireless PCs and netbooks, smartphones, wireless music and video players, eBook readers, etc) must talk to a database to get a list of allowable frequencies it can use before it can start transmitting. The database manager insures that these devices get accurate and up-to-date frequency information.
TV white spaces hold tremendous promise for deploying a variety of applications including:
- Wireless Internet connectivity for rural and other under served communities
- Cost-effective Muniwireless and community wireless access
- High speed broadband communications for enterprises and private business networks
- Content distribution throughout a city or community
- Whole house and office video, music and data networking
Because of this, naming TV white spaces database managers is an important step in bringing this valuable wireless spectrum to market.
We expect several other companies, agencies and organizations to submit proposals as well. We'll all know in a day or two who as applied since the deadline for proposals was this afternoon, and the FCC usually posts public records (as these proposals are) within about 24 hours of receiving them.
You can find Spectrum Bridge's official response and proposal here.
To learn more about TV white spaces, what a white spaces database is, or to find which TV white spaces frequencies are available at your home or office - see our previous blog post here.
CMO & Co-Founder
Spectrum Bridge Inc