Peter Rysavy Addresses Complexities of Spectrum Management

Engineer Peter Rysavy, who has been a contributor to High Tech Forum, recently released an important paper “Mobile Network Design and Deployment: How Incumbent Operators Plan for Technology Upgrades and Related Spectrum Needs. The paper examines the process and considerations undertaken by incumbent operators in planning wireless broadband networks, and how spectrum can be best managed to meet growing demand over time.

Here are some takeaways from his paper:
  • He provides a helpful view of the actual process, which is quite involved and lengthy.  This is important, given the accusations of operators “warehousing” and “hoarding” spectrum,
  • Because the opportunities for incumbent operators to obtain spectrum are rare and unpredictable, most operators will choose to acquire spectrum whenever it is made available, no matter the current stage of their network build-out.
  • Operators may acquire spectrum without a perfect initial view of how it will be used. It may ultimately augment their networks using current technology, or held for deployment of new technologies (to wit: 700 MHz spectrum and LTE networks).
  • Operators will ultimately use the spectrum they hold, as they augment their network capacity to address evolving consumer demand. When they run out, consumers experience problems associated with network congestion, such as dropped calls, slow downloads, and decreased quality of service.

Peter’s paper is excellent and definitely worth a look.