Here's the slide deck I used at last Thursday's meeting of the Boston section of the IEEE Communications Society.
Among other things, I debunk the following spectrum myths:
- Spectrum is scarce
- 4G is the future of wireless
- Auctions drive efficient use of spectrum
- Spectrum utilization requires massive investments
- TV spectrum is “beach front” property
The full write up from the IEEE announcement: 7:00 PM, Thursday, May 14
The Open Spectrum Potential for Evolutionary and Revolutionary Technology and Business Solutions
In November 2008, the FCC voted unanimously to permit unlicensed wireless devices that operate in the empty "white space" between TV channels. Their “TV White Spaces” decision was the culmination of many years of proceedings, but it's just one step in a much larger discussion, commonly referred to as “Open Spectrum.”
Our use of radio spectrum is regulated under principles that were established in the 1920s, when radio spectrum appeared to be a scarce resource and frequency was the only reasonable basis for allocation. Today’s wireless technology vastly exceeds anything imagined in the 1920s and from physical principles we know that many, many orders of magnitude further improvement are possible. Already the application of new approaches in just a few slivers of spectrum has fostered new industries – WiFi, Bluetooth and more.
The presentation discusses the predecessors, potentiality, and directions for Open Spectrum, including:
- A brief history spectrum regulation from before the Radio Act of 1927 to today.
- Results from measurements of actual spectrum utilization in New York and Washington DC.
- An overview of "Open Spectrum" experiments to date, including “license exempt sharing” in the 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and different forms of "secondary use" including UWB, 3650 MHz and now TV White Spaces.
- The physics of propagation and its impact on the range of White Spaces services vs. WiFi, WiMAX, 3GSM and LTE.
- IEEE 802.11y protocols and the prospects for expanding secondary use beyond TV White Spaces.
Brough Turner is founder and CTO at Ashtonbrooke and Chief Strategy Officer at Dialogic. Formerly he was founder and CTO at Natural MicroSystems and NMS Communications. He speaks and writes on a variety of communications topics including 3G and 4G wireless tutorials. He presented most recently at the 4G Wireless Evolution conference in February. Brough is an electrical engineering graduate of MIT and has 25 years experience in telecommunications.