"Remember when the iPhone's sudden popularity brought down AT&T's mobile broadband network? How did AT&T recover? It didn't buy more spectrum; the iPhones switched over to Wi-Fi to get their data.
According to Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler:
"In the past year, Wi-Fi traffic on AT&T's hotspots has tripled. Today, about half of iPhone and 90% of iPad page views are carried over Wi-Fi. Indeed, almost two-thirds of all smartphone and tablet data traffic is carried over Wi-Fi rather than over the carriers' networks."
But then there is the possibility of receiving TV channels on your phone by mistake if you're surfing for something else. The quality of service will suffer due to "borderline interference (wave resonance theory)". White space just does'nt seem practical.
Broadcasters use the ATSC standard for HDTV so its highly unlikely anyone with a White Space device is going to see a TV signal. And since nearly all spectrum below 2GHz is being used and not interfering with each other its clear hardware designers know how to mitigate adjacent channel interference.
While GPS hardware designers appear to have missed that memo, everyone else seems to be following the rules.
And FYI, even though the U.S. 2.4GHz ISM band is said to have 11 channels only three of those are non-overlapping. Despite this the 2.4GHz ISM band remains highly productive.
Republic Wireless to launch $19 unlimited voice, SMS & data service
The company says the monthly plan would include unlimited 3G data without any bandwidth caps.
The fact of the matter is that cellular network operators rely on the offload capacity of the primarily user and 'other' owned Wi-Fi networks. WiFi operates on what has been called 'junk spectrum' because it occupies the same frequency as microwave ovens, 2.4GHz home phones, and other devices and interference. The reason why microwave ovens use the 2.4GHz band is because the frequency is resonant with water/H2O molecules... that means the energy tends to get absorbed more by foliage and precipitation. When the junk band was first given back to we common citizens, Wi-Fi was proprietary and achieved less than 1Mbps. The IEEE 802.11a/b standard increased that to Mbps and then .11d to 54Mbps and .11n now up to about 300Mbps. Plans for WiFi include multiple carrier capability up to 1Gbps.. the former domain on only fiber optic and then GigE Ethernet networking.
Isn't it just amazing what open markets and open access to deployment by users can accomplish that the 100s of billions of US bongo-bucks in the hands of oligarchical establishments fail miserably at delivering? Of course, I am biting the hand that feeds me.. but perpetration of lies serves no one in the long run. Mobile operators have depended on WiFi because it is several times more cost effective (for offload onto 'others' networks it costs operators practically nothing) than the best LTE managed network deployments.
Hmm.. what if Clearwire gave free TD-LTE Home eNodeB remote base station routers to customers that operate in say 20 MHz of spectrum for local and extension networking and on the WWAN for broader coverage? Naw, too much old school.
What if the public actually understood that the spectrum is supposedly owned by them and that they should justifiably be given access to some, say a mere 60MHz of 'clean' mobile spectrum for unlicensed use similar to Wi-Fi but with middle-mile range characteristics? Naw, the public is too dumb-fart.. the BORG control freaks have nothing to worry about... these suckers will remain numb and Congress will remain bought and sold on their terms.
'Poking the Pope'
all this actually reaffirms the clearwire unique leverage position to meet demands...it's good that tablets and iphones are on wifi...wifi is on 2.5 ghz spectrum as is clearwire.
also good that the 20 dollar unlimited data plan is on board, it reaffirms small company's coming on board who will need the 4g service.
3g is fine and dandy but 4g is the ultimate demand by customers. if given a choice of the two with a 5 dollar a month difference, many if not all will choose 4g.
It's the not the writer's opinion that are important here but the data that is used as reference. The law professor's data underscores how AT&T and other carriers have used licensed exempt Wi-Fi spectrum to offload traffic. The article underscores the options that carriers have to handle growing traffic.
White Space spectrum will most assuredly play a role going forward as will the use of microcell and picocell architecture to increase spectrum re-use.
Carriers have multiple options to serve growing traffic demand.