Experts discussing future spectrum needs stressed the need for standards, including signal propagation models, during yesterday’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s annual spectrum symposium, a key forum on 5G wireless policy.
NTIA’s Charles Cooper summed up the key points, noting standards would help the U.S. use spectrum more efficiently. “It’s not always about 5G,” he said. “It’s also about U.S. manufacturing.”
During a panel on federal spectrum use and future sharing, Kate O’Connor of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said: “If we’re going to make large swaths of spectrum available, it needs to be done in a holistic way.” Congress believes NTIA should be the coordinator, she noted, adding: “We can’t have agencies working in silos.”
Of last week’s Department of Defense Request for Information on 5G spectrum leasing, DoD representative Frederick Moorefield said, “We’re not sure about the best way to do it. We’re looking for options,” from industry.
Suggesting that sharing spectrum, including between federal agencies and the commercial sector, is the future, Moorefield said repurposing decisions now take “years and years.” Those decisions need to happen more quickly, he stressed.
Those points were amplified in another panel comprised of industry experts. Cisco’s Mary Brown said concerning the Pentagon 5G RFI: “It’s the same call for help we’re hearing from enterprise customers.” Wireless technology is increasingly being used in manufacturing, she explained, such as in mining and at ports to move materials.
T-Mobile’s Steve Sharkey agreed with earlier panelists that spectrum-sharing will become more of the normal way of using this limited resource. However, “Exclusive access is still the gold standard.” Successfully obtaining access is also key to using that spectrum efficiently, he believes.
CommScope’s Dave Wright congratulated the FCC, NTIA, DoD and industry for “collaborating on operationalizing and commercializing the CBRS band.” How DoD uses this spectrum is “dramatically different” than commercial uses. Understanding DoD’s security needs was helpful, he added.
“People were able to roll up their sleeves, get in rooms together,” and work out solutions that enabled the recent auction, he noted. Moving forward to determine how to share spectrum in the future will require the same sense of collaboration, he said. “Someone doesn’t have to lose in order for commercial to win.”
Wright also represents the CRBS Alliance, but clarified that his remarks were confined to CommScope.
Sharkey said the process of working out everyone’s needs remains difficult. Of CBRS, he said: “That process took too long.” Concerning the upcoming C-band auction, he explained, “Once you get engineers in a room to solve problems, that’s where you get success.” Collaboration happens from leadership at the top and that happened with CBRS, he said, once the FCC and NTIA stepped in and said: “here’s where we need to go.”
by Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief
The post Spectrum Sharing is The Future, But Getting There is Too Slow, Experts Agree appeared first on Inside Towers.