Staying Ahead of The Game

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As the Keynote Speaker in Barcelona addressing the "Building the 5G economy" session (28th February), Ajit summarised their policy thus: 

"I would like to highlight a few parts of that framework because I believe they will provide the right foundation for 5G. And make no mistake: when it comes to 5G, the United States is committed to moving full speed ahead.

First, during the Clinton Administration in the 1990s, American policymakers forged a historic consensus across party lines that the Internet should be free from heavy-handed regulation. Instead of government telling broadband operators where to invest, how much to invest, or how to run their networks, we let market forces guide these decisions. Regulators made a conscious choice not to apply to the Internet the outdated rules crafted in the 1930s for a telephone monopoly. After all, complex rules designed to regulate a monopoly will inevitably push the market toward a monopoly. Instead, our policy was a modern one that gave the private sector the flexibility it needed to innovate.

Second, we encouraged facilities-based competition. In the early 2000s, the U.S. Rejected the notion that the broadband market was a natural monopoly. We encouraged broadband providers to build their own networks rather than using their competitors' infrastructure. We eliminated network-sharing obligations, which depressed investment and deterred network construction.

Third, we embraced a flexible use policy for wireless spectrum. Instead of mandating that a specific type of wireless technology be used in a particular spectrum band, the government left that choice to the private sector, which is better able to calibrate use to meet consumer demand. This enabled our wireless networks to evolve with technology, including the rollout of 4G LTE on a timeline that matched consumer demand.

Fourth and finally, we continually freed up spectrum for mobile broadband. We auctioned AWS-1 spectrum in 2006, 700 MHz spectrum in 2008, and 65 MHz of mid-band spectrum in 2015. And we are now completing our incentive auction, which will reallocate 70 MHz of spectrum from television broadcasters to wireless providers. Our auctions raised nearly $100 billion for the U.S. government, and they have also enabled operators to meet consumers' insatiable demand for mobile connectivity. We also moved quickly to open up nearly 11 GHz of spectrum in the bands above 24 GHz for mobile use. This gives operators a clear path to launching 5G and other innovative millimeter wave services in the United States. Moreover, we designated portions of these spectrum bands for both licensed commercial wireless use and for unlicensed or short-range devices, recognizing that there is a synergy between them that makes possible new applications, including the Internet of Things. But our efforts to facilitate 5G deployments have not stopped there. For one, the FCC authorized operators to launch 5G trials at cell sites across America. And they will be starting those trials by the middle of this year.

For another, we are currently considering whether to open up even more spectrum in the millimeter wave bands for 5G and other uses."

For the record, and for the avoidance of doubt, 5G officially and unequivocally commenced on the 14th July 2017 in the US. 

What OFCOM considers as trials the US considers as extended lab-testing. Readers already know my view on Auctions but should Sharon White emulate the Americans for her BT Openreach monopoly/duopoly deliberations that are apparently now decided upon? (Ducts, Poles and Cabinets are not Dark Fibre).


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