These are good questions, so let's step back and explain what wireless spectrum is, why it's become increasingly scarce, and what regulators are supposed to (or not) do about it.
All wireless communications signals travel over the air via radio frequency, aka spectrum. The TV broadcast you watch, the radio program you listen to, the GPS device that helps get you where you're going, and the wireless phone service you use to make phone calls and check Facebook from your smartphone -- all use invisible airwaves to transmit bits of data through the air.
The easiest way to understand what spectrum really is and how it provides services is to look at your radio. When you tune your radio to 93.9 FM, you are tuning into a station that is broadcasting at 93.9 megahertz. If you want to a listen to a different station, like one that only plays country music or jazz, you turn the dial to another frequency like 104.7 FM. And a different radio station will be transmitting over that particular frequency on a different setting on your radio dial. No two stations transmit over the same spectrum at the same time in the same area, because if they did, they'd cause interference with one another
Glass you are joking, right?
What is up with you. Paid Pumper? Quote [I quess]
..."going, and the wireless phone service you use to make phone calls and check Facebook from your smartphone -- all use invisible airwaves to transmit bits of data through the air."
Can you explain. "Invisible airwaves?"
As a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator with the FCC 40 years I have never heard of invisible airwaves lol
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Glass - "Electromagnetic" probably would have a better a better word. If they want to say invisible then OK. It's kind of like people that live under power lines [which, you want to talk about interference. Ever listen to an AM radio when you go under power lines. I know most people don't but I grew up in that era. I would never buy a house under an overhead power line [the large ones.]cd
From FCC's web site
"The FCC regulates the use of radio frequency bands of the electromagnetic spectrum by a spectrum management process called frequency allocation. The FCC's Table of Frequency Allocations consists of the International Table of Frequency Allocations and the United States Table of Frequency Allocations. The FCC's Table of Frequency Allocations is codified at Section 2.106 of the Commission's Rules. These resources designate the particular areas of the electromagnetic spectrum."
Guess I didn't realize you were quoting an article glass. That's another reason to say where you are getting your info: for example: Source: Forbes. They are right on frequencies overlapping because that would cause interference. If anyone has been following frequency spectrum that was mainly the reason Lighsquared was denied a newer technology due to the fact there was concern it would interfere with current GPS signals servicing autos, homes and boats.
I guess the thing to realize from the Forbes article [now that I know that is where you were quoting] - is they were just pointing out the fact wireless spectrum is becoming scarce. True statement.
A good source for all frequency and spectrum maps is from fcc gov [slash] spectrum. The Wireless carriers and others pay big bucks for spectrum.
As a ham operator we are always concerned that frequency spectrum will be taken away from us. The FCC controls all of it. Sorry for my comment I just didn't know you had posted it from Forbes. Later. cd
For Clarification cd_iso the article was from Forbes. The reason why I posted the article was as a reference and to briefly define "Spectrum Capacity". Of course the author of the Article breaks this definition down into laymans terms i.e: "invidible airwaves". I'm sure he/she doesn't hold a candle to your vast telecom knowledge. To be helpful to the FTR msg board it would be great if you could provide the more technically correct definition and perhaps insight regarding Spectrum.
I believe that FTR and other "wired" carries may benefit by providing backhaul when spectrum capacity nears max saturation.
I could be incorrect.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
You obviously know little about how cell systems work. Reuse via directional sectors and micro- and picocells are addressing capacity issues as they arise. My cell data is plenty fast, even with video. And keep in mind that technological progress isn't going to just stand still. New methods are rolled out all the time and these systems will always be improving. Moore's Law, you know. I can give you a rundown on the physics of broadband via twisted pair and the limitations of bandwidth capacity, especially on longer runs. Every technology has its drawbacks. Gimme fiber or gimme wireless. The rest is for the laggers.
Fiber trumps all. Costs more initially, but scales nicely.
Point-to-point connections are most secure and lose little to attenuation.
Some advances with even twisted pair. DSL fine for most users, and costs less. Rural areas lack enough population density to warrant investment in state-of-the-art. Five Megs is better than no Megs.
And because wireless signals only transmit over a certain distance, you won't be able to tune in a radio station you like that broadcasts out of New York City when you are in Philadelphia or Chicago or anywhere beyond the distance that those broadcast signals can travel via spectrum over the air to your radio.
Mobile phones work much the same way. Wireless operators, such as AT&T and Verizon, cannot transmit wireless signals over the same frequencies in the same markets at the same time.
The Federal Communications Commission is the government agency that keeps track of who's using which slivers of spectrum. The agency grants companies licenses to use the spectrum. In the mobile phone market, the FCC has auctioned off spectrum, generating billions of dollars in revenue for the government
3. The FCC also decides which frequencies of spectrum can be used for which purposes. For mobile phones, it has allocated spectrum generally between 700 MHz and 2.6 GHz. Most of the spectrum in this range has already been allocated for use. This means that when a wireless company wants to add more spectrum to its service to boost its capacity, it may well be disappointed: there isn't much more available spectrum that can be used.
Spectrum is the lifeblood of the industry. And as more consumers buy smartphones, which according to the FCC, use 24 times more data than a traditional cell phone, and tablets, which can consume 122 times more data than old traditional phones, there is a greater need for spectrum. The question is, where's it going to come from? Much of the best spectrum for transmitting mobile signals has already been licensed to wireless carriers, or it's being used by TV broadcasters or government agencies, which hold the rights to these licenses. As a result, the industry and the FCC have declared a spectrum shortage.