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Report
Future of Spectrum Sharing
The 40th Anniversary Marconi Society Symposium
October 2, 2014
Janice Obuchowski
President
Sharing Is the Future
• Huge demand for ready access to broadband spectrum capabilities
– Demand will continue to increase – 1000x more traffic - 100x more
connected devices than today
• Sharing is not only advisable – it is inevitable
– Relocation will be increasingly complex and fraught with diminishing
returns
– Arbitrary numerical goals (e.g., 500 MHz) will lose meaning as
spectrum exclusive “ownership” fades in importance
– The “Internet of Things” will blur the identity of “incumbents” and
emphasize fluid spectrum access
– Networks will become more flexible as we move away from operatorcentric models
• Sharing will be bi-directional, multiplying avenues for spectrum
access by more users (including Federal): two-way sharing cited in
Presidential Memo, DoD EMS Strategy
Economic Growth Doesn’t Just Mean Commercial Wireless Services,
It Relies on a Whole Universe of Spectrum-Dependent Equipment &
Services
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Fully Realized Future
• The 2025 and beyond sharing paradigm will be based on:
– Greater efficiency of spectrum usage;
• With denser deployments and use of more (higher and
lower) frequencies
– Improved antennas & transmission technologies;
• Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) components will underpin
sharing
– Smart database technologies
– Dedicated sense-and-avoid networks
– Cognitive radios and networks
Foundation for Future Sharing World Will Come From Work Today:
Many sharing issues still need to be worked out. Current Domestic and
International work is key to making that happen.
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Technology Development
• More spectrally-efficient standards – “5G”
– Beyond LTE – 5GPP
– IEEE – 802.11(ax), 802.22 (TVWS), 802.15 (WPAN), etc.
• Dedicated Listening Devices (DLDs)
• Database technologies
• Cognitive radio systems (CRS) and networks (HetNet, SON)
• Antenna systems – MIMO, etc.
• Power Reduction; improved batteries; lower network power requirements
• Further small cell development (“WiGig” - up to 6 Gbps connections
enable ubiquitous wireless displays)
Technology is the Achievable Part; the Human Quotient Is Harder
 Regulatory issues: enforcement and international harmonization
 Social and values issues: While technology moves ahead,
we lag behind in coping with the Internet’s unintended effects
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Avoiding `Magic Thinking’
• Let’s benchmark today’s reality:
– Spectrum policy conversation has been transformed by diverse stakeholders
embracing sharing –carriers, Federal users, unlicensed players.
• Desired sharing terms and conditions for sharing vary among these players.
While sharing is an optimal path forward, it’s hard:
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Cognitive networks are still being developed
Techniques like DFS are not universally trusted
There is no global regulatory approach to sharing, or even consensus in the U.S.
Sharing today is negotiated band-by-band
• Painstaking process of compatibility studies
• National and Intl. negotiations among industry and government stakeholders
• Establishment and testing of technical standards and regulatory restrictions
• Core telecom services still rely on carrier nets
– Opening door to sharing opens up new business models, new players, new
paths to competition to emerge
– Mix of protected infrastructure, lightly regulated competitors and unregulated
apps
– Change will involve trade-offs in security, reliability
We have 21st century technology with 1970s enforcement
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Regulatory Experimentation
• National-Level
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TVWS and incentive auctions (UHF bands)
Small cells and local coverage (3.5 GHz)
Completing a broadband spectrum range (5 GHz)
Licensed Shared Access (LSA)
• International-Level
– Other countries -- UK, EU, etc.
– ITU-R – Ongoing studies for WRC-15 & Study Groups (e.g., WP1B &
5A).
– Many countries remain wary of TVWS, DSA experiments
Sharing poses risks and opportunities, and both sides of the equation are still
being proven out, requiring a ‘trust but verify’ approach.
•
NTIA-DoD National Advanced Spectrum and Communications Test Network is
among efforts working toward technical validation of new forms of sharing to
create trust among stakeholders.
What’s Good for the Goose: So far, terrestrial mobile industries seem
interested in sharing Federal and broadcasting bands – what about opening up
non-Federal, commercial wireless bands to sharing?
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Open Questions: Security, Monitoring
and Enforcement
• Solving Security, Monitoring, and Enforcement issues around sharing will
require evolution of policy, regulatory, and technology
– Greater spectrum abundance ≠ greater stability or less interference
• Security and Cyber-Security
– Industry is evolving protections for consumers; meanwhile
– Databases geared toward Google customers are not designed for OPSEC
Google puts advanced encryption in handsets; law enforcement up to and including Attorney
General object. What about law enforcement and homeland security?
• Monitoring
– Opportunities in IoT devices as sensors
• Enforcement
– Greater centralized network controls could help
– Decentralized networks may require technology to avoid causing harmful
interference and being more resilient to changes in the spectrum environment
– Sharing only works if all parties comply – otherwise, you have “tragedy of the
commons”
– What about purposely low cost devices, without sense and avoid or shutdown features?
Trust and Enforcement as always are Key!
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More Spectrum for What?
• Demand Driven by Education, Health, the Arts but…
• Consider these social media apps:
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Facebook – complicated privacy settings and potential over-sharing of personal info
Snapchat – messaging of “disappearing” photos
Secret – Allows short, anonymous messaging among small user groups
Whisper – Users can send anonymous messages superimposed on images
Yik Yak – This app has no usernames or passwords, but allows all users in a 1.5 mile
area to send and read messages anonymously
– Highlight – provides social and background information on users to all other app
users up to 100 yards away.
– Tinder – A location-based dating app with chat capability that provides personal
info to other nearby users
Source: Arlington Catholic Herald
• And we wonder how teens are exposed to “sexting,” cyberbullying and stalking?
– Families are facing these potential digital dangers alone
Snapchat was recently valued at roughly $10 billion,
And it reportedly rebuffed an acquisition offer of $3
billion from Facebook
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Unintended/Intended Consequences
• Values Issues – the Digital `Wild West’
– The good, the bad and the ugly – everything from cancer support groups to
porn & cybercrime
– How do we protect the vulnerable and make knowledge out of information
overload?
• Economic Growth and the Public Good
– In most cases, they coincide – BUT
– Sharing just to meet growing consumer demand may risk cutting off future
spectrum access for growing Federal and non-profit needs
• Digital Dividends and Digital Divides
– Are we entrenching broadband mobile as an amplifier of global digital
disparities?
– Need to empower the world’s less-affluent to engage in the Information Age
 Sharing Dividend
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Sharing creates new opportunities for more wireless bandwidth to be utilized by
more users, so the question is how that "sharing dividend" is apportioned
Commercial broadband sometimes – but not always - the highest and best use
Numerous public interest applications may be optimal use (e.g., air traffic control,
space exploration) – still important economic contributions and often no
commercial/wireless carrier substitute.
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The vision of a technologically enabled
mobile marketplace will be a reality in 2025.
Our challenge is in ensuring that it works for
the maximum possible public good.
Janice Obuchowski
President
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