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Study disputes predictions of coming spectrum crunch

Grant Gross | Aug. 25, 2014
Widely accepted projections of a shortage of mobile spectrum may not be as dire as many analysts in the mobile and tech sectors are making it out to be, according to a new study.

"No one denies the growth in mobile broadband," said Dennis Wharton, the NAB's executive vice president for communications. "The question is whether there is a crisis, which was the hysteria narrative that led to issuance of the National Broadband Plan and passage of the TV spectrum auction legislation."

The study questioned the objectivity of many of the groups predicting spectrum shortages. "The analysts who create spectrum demand estimates are typically wireless industry veterans who are usually dependent on the industry for their livelihoods," the study said.

The same criticism could be levied at the NAB for distributing the study, critics said. The study appears to "guess" at mobile usage in 2013, instead of using real-world numbers, said Scott Bergmann, vice president of regulatory affairs at mobile trade group CTIA.

"As every other study by well respected and independent organizations have shown over the last few years, there is a significant increase in consumer demand now for mobile broadband and this will only continue to grow exponentially as long as the U.S. wireless industry has access to more spectrum," Bergmann said by email. "This latest from NAB is a tired and disproven distraction."

 

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