Need to look beyond spectrum scarcity, to the future 5G world

20th January 2017
Need to look beyond spectrum scarcity, to the future 5G world
Kaplak Gude, President, Dynamic Spectrum Alliance

Honolulu, Hawaii,  January  19 2017: Against the background of  the recent sale of telecom spectrum in India, the remarks of Kalpak Gude, President of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance,  may be pertinent. 
Gude  assumed his position at DSA,  in November last year, after an earlier tenure as Vice President of Legal, Regulatory, at OneWeb, an organisation tackling the issue of affordable global connectivity. He has also served as Associate Bureau Chief at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, D.C., where he gained insight into complex political and regulatory areas.
His views are important in an  environment, where government seems bent on milking every last paisa from spectrum, without  measuring the effect such  high pricing will have on the ability of service providers to reach the country's unreached, with  Internet and telecom connectivity.
Speaking at the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) annual conference in Hawaii, Gude told the audience that while there have been, and continue to be, great technological advancements, the industry must face facts: “We must either embrace new sharing techniques to drive spectrum efficiency, while still protecting incumbent services, or continue to spend our energy on the spectrum battles of scarcity and diminish the possibilities of the future wireless world.”
He added: “Spectrum auctions are a symbol of scarcity – a way to ration what we have left – however it focuses energy in the wrong place. Every conversation about spectrum today begins and ends with the question of limits, but the spectrum revolution can end this. With the technological advances that have occurred, spectrum scarcity is not a necessary law of nature. Dynamic spectrum sharing is a solution to overcome, and ultimately end, the focus on limits and it will be at the heart of the future 5G world.”
Gude commented on how at its core the new 5G world is all about wireless solutions and connectivity enabling, among other things, the Internet of Things (IoT). However, he mentioned it is more than just faster internet, it is about satisfying our societal expectations of being connected anywhere and everywhere, without limits. 
“To satisfy the expectations, however, 5G cannot have a one-size-fits-all approach to spectrum management if it is to meet the differing demands. Low-band, mid-band, and high-band spectrum, each with its own strengths, will need to be available and abundant. Dynamic spectrum sharing, with a regulatory structure embracing unlicensed and lightly-licensed regulations, is the only way to satisfy these growing spectrum requirements. In turn, this will enable the IoT and provide connectivity anywhere and everywhere to bring the benefits of the connected future to the four billion that currently are not part of the global conversation,” concluded Gude.

This discussion comes ahead of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance’s fifth annual Global Summit, which takes place between 9-11 May 2017, in Cape Town, South Africa