Killing broadcast won't solve spectrum woes

Melissa Chua
Ending broadcasting’s reign on the highly valued 700 MHz and 800 MHz bands would not solve the spectrum shortage issues facing telcos, said a broadcasting industry leader at ITU Telecom World 2011 in Geneva.
 
The European Broadcasting Union’s chairman for DVB, Phil Laven, said digital terrestrial television will continue to be a dominant form of delivery in many countries, and better use of white spaces was key to ensuring sufficient spectrum for the mobile industry.
 
Laven added governments, operators and manufacturers need to look at methods aimed at dynamic spectrum allocation.
 
Dynamic spectrum allocation should exist from hour to hour versus having governments allocate a particular band for several years, Laven said. The mobile industry, with the help of regulators, could learn from broadcasters’ various agreements to use under-utilized military spectrum, he said.
 
According to Laven, mutual suspicion between broadcasters and the military was an initial problem, but both parties soon came to a level of understanding and trust as to when and how particular spectrum bands could be utilized. The situation was highly beneficial as a large amount of military spectrum was unused during the day.
 
President of the Swiss Federal Communications Commission Marc Furrer, agreed with Laven, and appealed for governments and mobile operators to cooperate on better spectrum management. Furrer added great precaution had to be taken to ensure no interference occurred during white space utilization, and urged governments to be mindful of demand and supply before allocating more spectrum to broadcast bands.

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