Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Obama Plans To Double Available Wireless Spectrum

The administration's proposal calls for making 500 megahertz of spectrum available over the next 10 years.

The battle over the National Broadband Plan took a brief breather Monday as the Obama administration said it plans to double the amount of spectrum available over the next several years.

While the announcement, made by White House Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Summers, was hailed for its plan to auction off government and broadcasters' spectrum, it immediately raised the question: will it be enough? In other words can a doubling of spectrum be enough to provide enough services for the smartphones and other wireless devices that FCC chairman Julius Genachowski says are expected to push demand by 30 to 40 times ?

Carriers are already resorting to a number of measures designed to conserve spectrum including metering data plans. That approach was pioneered by AT&T last month, but other mobile carriers have indicated they, too, will eventually meter smartphone data usage. Femtocells, Wi-Fi hotzones and a more efficient configuration of cell towers will help, too.

In his announcement at Washington think tank New America Foundation, Summers said: "Opening up spectrum will create the foundation for new private-sector investment and economic activity (that) would not have been possible without the coordinating and organizing role of government."

The recommendations will likely help pave the way for a nationwide network for public safety responders, who have been burdened by a patchwork of often-incompatible networks. Two years ago, the government tried to auction off spectrum for first responders, but there were no serious bids. The FCC has been attempting to restructure a new auction and Monday's announcement is likely to help preparations for a new auction.

The Obama administration's proposal calls for some 220 megahertz of spectrum to come from the federal government with another big chunk to come from public broadcasters.

Wireless industry trade association chief Steve Largent praised the announcement. "By making spectrum available for auction," said Largent in a statement, "the Administration will enable the wireless industry to invest billions of dollars to purchase the licensed spectrum, and billions more to build and upgrade the networks that fuel our 'virtuous cycle' of innovation. This announcement is a win for all Americans as it will drive innovation, investment and job creation, while at the same time providing much needed revenue not only for the US Treasury, but also for a nationwide interoperable Public Safety Network.

Largent is president and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Data Leak Week: Billions of Sensitive Files Exposed Online
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/10/2019
Intel Issues Fix for 'Plundervolt' SGX Flaw
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
There is an improper authentication vulnerability in Huawei smartphones (Y9, Honor 8X, Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9i, Y6 Pro). The applock does not perform a sufficient authentication in a rare condition. Successful exploit could allow the attacker to use the application locked by applock in an instant.
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
Some Huawei smart phones have a null pointer dereference vulnerability. An attacker crafts specific packets and sends to the affected product to exploit this vulnerability. Successful exploitation may cause the affected phone to be abnormal.
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
There is an information disclosure vulnerability in certain Huawei smartphones (Mate 10;Mate 10 Pro;Honor V10;Changxiang 7S;P-smart;Changxiang 8 Plus;Y9 2018;Honor 9 Lite;Honor 9i;Mate 9). The software does not properly handle certain information of applications locked by applock in a rare condition...
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Huawei CloudUSM-EUA V600R006C10;V600R019C00 have an information leak vulnerability. Due to improper configuration, the attacker may cause information leak by successful exploitation.
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Certain Huawei products (AP2000;IPS Module;NGFW Module;NIP6300;NIP6600;NIP6800;S5700;SVN5600;SVN5800;SVN5800-C;SeMG9811;Secospace AntiDDoS8000;Secospace USG6300;Secospace USG6500;Secospace USG6600;USG6000V;eSpace U1981) have an out-of-bounds read vulnerability. An attacker who logs in to the board m...