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Addressing Spectrum Strategy Issues That Jeopardize U.S. Mobile Broadband Leadership

Airwave Overload?


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Framework of spectrum U.S. policy measures and 4G technology investments 

Governments around the world, including the United States, face challenges in managing a major transition in spectrum policy. Technology advances are boosting demand for bandwidth-intensive new offerings and multiple interests need to be balanced.

While the U.S. is the current global mobile broadband leader, its status is not assured as other countries continue to invest in innovation and development. To retain its leadership, the U.S. must not only head off a spectrum shortage but show the way in adopting a policy framework that can better meet the requirements of the 21st century marketplace.

This report examines the U.S.’ shrinking lead in mobile broadband, takes a closer look at how these issues might be addressed, and provides a set of metrics for monitoring the progress governments make as they compete to capitalize on the potential of wireless technology for the benefit of their economies and citizens.

The report also introduces the “Mobile Telecom National Achievement Index” which compares the vitality and competiveness of the wireless sector worldwide.

Additional topics examined in more detail include:

  • Freeing up spectrum to handle the growth of commercial mobile broadband services should be compared to the economic benefits that result, including increased tax revenues
  • Fundamental U.S. policy changes are required to foster innovation
  • U.S. mobile broadband leadership depends on maintaining a robust and adaptable wireless infrastructure, capable of offering new services and meeting growing demand
  • U.S. mobile broadband demand is rising at a tremendous rate and the surge is projected to continue
  • Carriers are expanding and upgrading their networks to keep pace with demand as government works to increase mobile broadband spectrum to 500 MHz by 2020
  • Despite efforts by carriers and government to augment network capacity, mobile broadband demand growth threatens to overwhelm the system

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