CTIA to FCC: More spectrum for mHealth

By Brian Dolan
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Steve Largent, CTIAThe wireless industry association, CTIA, asked the FCC to allocate 800 MHz of spectrum over the next six years in order to continue the "virtuous cycle" of innovation in the wireless industry: CTIA specifically points to mHealth and smart grids as recent examples. The request comes as the FCC has been working to gather information under a notice of inquiry (NOI) about a national broadband strategy that seeks to bring broadband Internet, whether wireless or wired, to the under served areas in the United States.

"We recognize that any effective effort will rely heavily on wireless broadband as the wave of the future, and a key element to reach hard to serve areas. Considering America’s ever-increasing appetite for reliable broadband services and applications from mobile devices, the role that wireless will play is huge and undeniable," FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein stated in his comments about plans for a National Broadband Policy. "There is a clear need for focused efforts on spectrum efficiency and management, which will require a thorough spectrum inventory, as many in Congress are now proposing. The future success of our economy demands that we promote the expansion of communications infrastructure and focus our energies on optimizing our spectrum resources."

CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent picked up on those comments by the FCC chairman and asked the agency to allocate more spectrum to wireless carriers.

“As the Chairman and other FCC Commissioners understand, spectrum is our industry’s backbone and is what encourages innovation and competition," CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent stated in a letter to the FCC yesterday. “In order to facilitate the ‘virtuous cycle’ of the industry, more spectrum must be made available. As spectrum is brought to market, the virtuous cycle begins, as networks are upgraded to add capacity and greater capabilities, handsets are then developed to take advantage of next generation networks, application and content developers then create new content to take advantage of new handset capabilities, and ultimately, consumers demand more. It’s a cycle that never ends as long as spectrum is available."

Largent goes on to explain that the wireless carriers need more spectrum to meet "consumer demand" for new wireless services like mHealth:

“The U.S. is the most efficient users of commercial spectrum in the world. But as the Chairman has recognized, the industry needs access to more spectrum so we can continue to meet the growing consumer demand – whether it’s for personal reasons such as mHealth or for environmental reasons such as smart grids. Other countries around the world have recognized the need to facilitate this virtuous cycle and have identified hundreds of megahertz of spectrum to reallocate for licensed commercial use."

Largent's comments are another indication that wireless carriers believes that healthcare services are a key area moving forward.

Read the CTIA's full Ex Parte letter to the FCC here

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