Last year, many industry analysts and advocacy groups warned of the looming spectrum crisis. Mobile broadband has taken off exponentially, and American consumers are adopting mobile devices and using them more frequently. A recent article in The Hill comments on the spectrum situation and illustrates that actions must be undertaken by policymakers to ensure that mobile broadband can continue to succeed.
A few points from the article:
- With more people adopting wireless technology, the time until the real spectrum crunch decreases.
- With multifunctioning purposes, devices can use wireless for business, education, telemedicine, and entertainment. However, limited airwaves affect the operating level and efficiency of all these functions.
- Policymakers must take better and faster action to add spectrum to the wireless industry. Secondary market transactions are acceptable on a limited basis, but it is not enough. Lawmakers need to authorize legislation which will solve the spectrum shortage.
Spectrum is also extremely important for Latinos going forward. There are many applications for wireless broadband as the article mentioned, but Latinos are, according to the statistics, the largest group who own and use smartphones. They are also very likely to use wireless as their primary access to the Internet, or their only access. Wireless has revolutionized the digital marketplace, with apps becoming a $7 billion dollar industry, and it is expected to reach $50 billion in a few years. It has also revolutionized the way people access the digital age, and has given millions of Latinos and previously unconnected people access to the Internet. I wholeheartedly agree that policymakers must take a more aggressive leadership role in solving the looming spectrum crunch. Too many things, like telemedicine, business growth, and reducing the digital divide, hang in the balance.