Feeds

Mobile operators: US quake proves we need more spectrum

But 'no networks failed ...'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Operator body CTIA reckons that Tuesday's earthquake proves US operators need more radio spectrum – and quickly – despite the fact that much of the owned bandwidth lies unused.

The call for more spectrum is an oft-repeated mantra, taken up by the US government (and echoed by the UK's), claiming that unless network operators are given more radio spectrum the entire industry will grind to a halt. But in a press release, the CTIA's CEO points out that it is not just the mobile industry which is at risk.

"Yesterday's earthquake underscored the vital need for our industry to get more spectrum," he explains, going on to draw an analogy simple enough for the hard-of-thinking to follow. "Cars are like our mobile devices. ... Yesterday, a huge number of users were trying to use the same highway at the same time, which caused the jam. With more spectrum, we'd have more lanes that would allow more users."

This would make more sense if AT&T wasn't sitting on $12bn worth of radio spectrum already: a multi-lane highway lying empty alongside your traffic jam. There are also the bands LightSquared is trying to open up, not to mention Dish Networks' latest plan and the huge potential of White Space devices.

To be fair to AT&T, it is planning to deploy LTE in the bands it owns, rather than any malicious hoarding of resources, but it is also in all of the operators' interest to get as much spectrum onto the open market as possible, and AT&T in particular has to convince the FCC that its need for spectrum can only be sated by acquiring T-Mobile USA.

In fact, the mobile networks seemed to have coped rather well with the earthquake, by the CTIA's own admission: "No wireless towers went down and no networks failed ... wireless networks processed the huge surge of communications attempts across the nation at rates massively higher than normal."

So operators coped with what they had, and already have a lot more coming on-line in the next few years. At some point one has to wonder if building more roads is always the solution. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
You! AT&T! The only thing 'unlimited' about you is your CHEEK, growl feds
Man, we did everything but knock on their doors - carrier
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now
From obscurity to selling 19 million mobes a quarter
Brazil greenlights $200m internet cable to Europe in bid to outfox NSA
Only one problem: it won't make the slightest difference. And they know it
Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T
Unless you want your network-swapping tech disabled for good, that is
Knocking Knox: Samsung DENIES vuln claims, says mysterious blogger is a JOKER
But YES, system does store encryption key on the device
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.