Ahead of the LTE World Summit taking place at the Amsterdam Rai in the Netherlands on the 23rd-25th June 2014, we asked speakers taking part in the panel discussion on key spectrum challenges taking place on Day Two, the question: Is shared spectrum a magic bullet for capacity crunch issues?”
Read on below to compare and contrast the answers.
Robindhra Mangtani, Principal Advisor- Mobile, Strategy & Technology Group, Ofcom, UK
No, but do we see spectrum accessed on a shared basis providing an important and complementary approach to the use of dedicated spectrum bands. Sharing can occur geographically, where spectrum is unused in a particular location, or on a temporal basis, or both such as in TVWS where spectrum is only being used at certain times. Under both approaches, the same spectrum band is accessed by more than one service, which can provide a number of benefits:
– It can increase access to spectrum for use by new services;
– It can reduce barriers to spectrum access, acting as enabler for growth and innovation in new wireless services; and
– It can allow consumers and businesses to more easily access spectrum and deploy their own wireless infrastructure where it is needed.
– Public authorities may enable sharing of bands that they may still need some geographical and temporal access to, or may wish to keep open the possibility that they may recover for use at a subsequent date.
Professor Simon Saunders, Director of Technology, Real Wireless, Chair, Spectrum Applications & Demand, UK Spectrum Policy Forum and Adjunct Professor, Trinity College Dublin
No. While an increase in spectrum sharing is inevitable over time, the devil is in the detail of the sharing conditions. If there is a lack of certainty, or onerous coexistence conditions, we have shown that the economic value of shared spectrum drops very rapidly compared with exclusive licenced spectrum. Given a choice, who wouldn’t prefer 50 MHz of exclusive spectrum over 100 MHz of shared spectrum with uncertain conditions?
Kamran Etemad, Senior advisor, FCC
Spectrum sharing has great potential as it takes advantage of the fact that heavy use of high QoS data may be highly local and temporal. Opportunistic access to a large pool of spectrum can allow statistical averaging of such access at much lower cost. This approach has synergy and can be combined with opportunistic use of licensed and semi/unlicensed carriers to provide a significant boost to effective system capacity.