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  • FCC Chief: "We Face a Spectrum Gap" Due to iPhone


    According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission chairman, the rapid growth in bandwidth usage by mobile devices like the iPhone threatens to overload the available electromagnetic communications frequencies - or "spectrum," as the FCC refers to it - allocated to such devices. As a result, creative new policies will have to be implemented to avoid a "spectrum gap," the chairman said.

    In a Q&A with Business Week, FCC chair Julius Genachowski said that if current trends continue, there will not be enough spectrum available for the growth in mobile broadband access. This growth is largely attributed to the iPhone and its much-discussed Hummer-like thirst for bandwidth. Familiar complaints about AT&T's US 3G service - network overloads that result in dropped calls, missed text messages, delayed voicemail, slow downloads, etc. - will become increasingly common, even if Apple allows other service providers to carry the iPhone, because the carriers have nowhere to go to build out their infrastructure. To deal with this, Genachowski said, the FCC will have come up with new ways to allocate the finite amount of spectrum available for wireless services:

    "We've been spending time on long-term spectrum policy because the data suggest we face a spectrum gap. The demands that are being created by the iPhone and other mobile broadband technologies threaten to outstrip the amount of spectrum available for commercial mobile, and it's important for the country that we get long-term planning right because it takes time to identify spectrum and put it on the market. We're looking at potential innovations in spectrum policy, such as secondary licensing for spectrum, and other, more creative ideas for unlicensed spectrum."
    The idea of a “secondary market for spectrum” was first introduced by the FCC in 2000, and the regulator adopted new rules in 2003. This allowed the holders of FCC licenses to auction off leases to other companies interested in using the original owner's licensed spectrum. In this way, unused frequencies could be utilized for 3G or future wireless broadband services.

    3G iPhones currently operate in either the 800-MHz (IS-54) or 1900-MHz (IS-136) frequency bands. In many markets, all available channels are either at or near capacity.

    image via Wikipedia
    This article was originally published in forum thread: FCC Chief: "We Face a Spectrum Gap" Due to iPhone started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 39 Comments
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Wasn't this the reason that over the air television was killed? To open up more room or cellphone companies?

      Supposed to read "more room for". Gotta love typing on the iPhone
    1. PaperCross's Avatar
      PaperCross -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      Wasn't this the reason that over the air television was killed? To open up more room or cellphone companies?

      Supposed to read "more room for". Gotta love typing on the iPhone
      I believe analog transmissions for TV were supposed to be killed to free up frequencies for emergency services...maybe i am wrong..
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      I thought they were sold to phone companies. I am gonna do some googling.

      Analog spectrum boosts AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) -- GuruFocus.com

      Apparently Verizon and AT&T bought a couple of dollars worth of it.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      That made sense. Now force At&T to work.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      I don't think Att are rolling out that spectrum until 2012
    1. PaperCross's Avatar
      PaperCross -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      I thought they were sold to phone companies. I am gonna do some googling.

      Analog spectrum boosts AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) -- GuruFocus.com

      Apparently Verizon and AT&T bought a couple of dollars worth of it.
      Got this from FCC.gov (ALL-DIGITAL TELEVISION IS COMING (AND SOONER THAN YOU THINK!)). I guess the phone companies are getting a piece of the pie too! Maybe then AT&T will allow tethering for free...(or maybe not )
    1. Fallguy's Avatar
      Fallguy -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      Wasn't this the reason that over the air television was killed? To open up more room or cellphone companies?

      Supposed to read "more room for". Gotta love typing on the iPhone
      Thats what I was told also . Someones dragging their feet !
    1. sungod661's Avatar
      sungod661 -
      no idea what that graph is supposed to show but seems serious lol
    1. nikozen's Avatar
      nikozen -
      It's hard to see cause it's so small. I happen to have a large one sitting in the cubicle next to me. It's a Radio Frequency Allocation chart for the USA. Basically who/what broadcasts at what frequency.
    1. sungod661's Avatar
      sungod661 -
      hmmm ok is a normal human supposed to understand that graph?
    1. b3nny's Avatar
      b3nny -
      Quote Originally Posted by sungod661 View Post
      no idea what that graph is supposed to show but seems serious lol
      lolol yeah someone needs to defrag that spectrum asap xD
    1. sungod661's Avatar
      sungod661 -
      kinda looks like my vista hard drive after installing the second partition......oh am i glad i switched over to a mac after 13 years of laughing at everyone who had a mac

      now watch microsoft start selling better products then apple and im the only dope with apple
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      Quote Originally Posted by sungod661 View Post
      no idea what that graph is supposed to show but seems serious lol
      hahahahaaha this made me laugh cause i was thinking hte exact same. serious and colorful
    1. enjoylife's Avatar
      enjoylife -
      Quote Originally Posted by sungod661 View Post
      no idea what that graph is supposed to show but seems serious lol
      LOL - I bet that graph cost tax payers $4 million to produce..
    1. mawells787's Avatar
      mawells787 -
      the spectrum that at&t / Verizon bought from the analog TV transition was in the 700mhz. the 700mhz bands are going to be used for LTE by verizon/at&t ( most likely they will be roaming partners for LTE). the 700mhz band will be great because it can travel further and penetrate walls/buildings better than 850mhz/1900mhz.

      however, these problems are very serious, as much as people want to bash at&t for the problems their network has, no other network has the same amount of 3G users as at&t. to put it in perspective see below:

      in Q2 2009 t-mobile had 2.1 million users on their 3G network ( G1,mytouch 3G sidekick 3G ect)

      as of Q3 2009 at&t has about 35million people on their 3G network and 12-13 million are iphone users ( the hummer of smartphones).
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      i just googled the graph. you can enlarge it in your browser w/o any artifacts to see every detail. very interesting stuff. i think im gonna blow it up and print for my own geeky use.
    1. sungod661's Avatar
      sungod661 -
      uh that's a joke right?
    1. Cirtess's Avatar
      Cirtess -
      Quote Originally Posted by enjoylife View Post
      LOL - I bet that graph cost tax payers $4 million to produce..
      So it cost 4 Million...big deal. Hell, all they do is print print print moreeeeeee. Bastards
    1. reanimationxp's Avatar
      reanimationxp -
      Quote Originally Posted by rhekt View Post
      i just googled the graph. you can enlarge it in your browser w/o any artifacts to see every detail. very interesting stuff. i think im gonna blow it up and print for my own geeky use.
      was thinking the same thing lol
    1. robbpell's Avatar
      robbpell -
      Quote Originally Posted by mawells787 View Post
      the spectrum that at&t / Verizon bought from the analog TV transition was in the 700mhz. the 700mhz bands are going to be used for LTE by verizon/at&t ( most likely they will be roaming partners for LTE). the 700mhz band will be great because it can travel further and penetrate walls/buildings better than 850mhz/1900mhz.

      however, these problems are very serious, as much as people want to bash at&t for the problems their network has, no other network has the same amount of 3G users as at&t. to put it in perspective see below:

      in Q2 2009 t-mobile had 2.1 million users on their 3G network ( G1,mytouch 3G sidekick 3G ect)

      as of Q3 2009 at&t has about 35million people on their 3G network and 12-13 million are iphone users ( the hummer of smartphones).

      im sure that cant be to accurate as all iphone users are forced to pay for a 3g plan even if its not available anywhere around you i have to drive an hour before i get to a city with 3g and yet im still paying for it at&t sent a notice in january saying they will be building a 3g network in my city in 2009 im thinking there gonna wait till christmas eve cuz i see no signs of it anywhere one of the reasons i been looking into verizon although i love my iphone and would be lost without it i hate paying for something im not getting and since at&t wont let me upgrade my phone(to 3gs) until march without paying extra when my contract ends in jun im thinking droid does commercials look better and better as verizon has had 3g in my city for a while now. lol ok let me stop ranting jus a little touchy when it comes to at&t's 3g network.