Generational shift: TV waves to Wi-Fi

Shifting screens and shifting spectrum. The TV generation will be giving up some spectrum for our data hungry mobile devices.

Reported today in the New York Times and other news, Congress to Sell Public Airwaves to Pay Benefits was a three-way proposal for payroll tax extensions, TV spectrum and Wi-Fi.

This is happy news for the carriers struggling to manage (and throttle) the growing bandwidth needs of the multiple mobile devices. Did I mention that worldwide smartphone sales “soared” to 47% last quarter?

The spectrum auction was the only agreement from both political parties on a way to pay for a bipartisan compromise to extend a payroll tax holiday and jobless benefits.

These auctions are a year away at a minimum. As the parties argue whether this is a basis for more job creation, one thing is for sure: new mobile devices and data downloads are putting a toll on the current infrastructure.

“The legislation also provides for the creation of bands of unlicensed airwaves, so-called white space, around each segment of auctioned spectrum for use in building large Wi-Fi networks in urban areas and for use by cellphone companies in temporarily easing crowding on their networks.

MobileBurn.com explains why this spectrum is so desirable:
Low-frequency spectrum is much coveted for wireless networks since it penetrates buildings and other structures well, and can be used over longer distances than high-frequency spectrum. As a result, fewer towers are required to cover a given area with a network built on low-frequency spectrum.”

The bill has passed and is waiting the President’s expected signature.

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