Why the National Spectrum Strategy is Vital for America’s Digital Future

The Imperative of Spectrum Strategy

A robust National Spectrum Strategy is pivotal. Why? It upholds U.S. leadership in wireless technologies. The economic and technological security of the U.S. hinges on this strategy. Ericsson and global partners note a glaring spectrum vacuum. This vacuum affects the rollout of 5G and preparation for 6G. As we approach 2028, the demands on the spectrum will grow. Are we prepared?

A robust National Spectrum Strategy is pivotal.

The Current Spectrum Shortfall

The U.S. commercial wireless industry faces a dilemma. The immediate need for 5G spectrum is pressing. Yet, there’s a noticeable scarcity in mid-band spectrum. Before 6G’s launch, the thirst for high-capacity, low-latency services will surge. To reign in wireless worldwide, we must act. The U.S. needs to play a defining role in 5G and 6G spectrum allocation. But where’s our spectrum pipeline?

Diving Deeper: U.S. Spectrum Woes

Three challenges confront us:

  • The U.S. lags in spectrum allocation for high-power licensed use. Our allocation, particularly between 3 GHz and 8.5 GHz, falls short. Countries like Japan and China outpace us.
  • Our spectrum allocations often don’t match global standards. This mismatch can jeopardize our technological security. Can we risk not being on the global frequency?
  • Lastly, our nation lacks a clear spectrum pipeline. Without it, how can we guide our investments?

The Ramifications of Spectrum Scarcity

Here’s the reality: a spectrum shortage curtails potential. Mobile service providers are in a crunch. They need to cater to increasing wireless demands. But the spectrum drought stymies their efforts. By 2028, Ericsson forecasts a data consumption spike. With a bottlenecked spectrum, can providers keep pace?

Advanced applications like XR require bandwidth. Can we afford to restrict their growth? An abundance of spectrum is the backbone of limitless, affordable communication.

Moreover, a spectrum pipeline offers clarity. It guides industry investments. Without this roadmap, our path to 6G is murky. It could delay advancements in critical tech areas. Our drive for smart cities, AI, and XR relies heavily on mobile services. How can these technologies flourish without strong wireless networks?

Spectrum Licensing: A Tightrope Walk

The licensing spectrum is tricky but vital. Investment in mobile networks often hinges on exclusive licensed spectrum. Protection from interference boosts investor confidence. Since 5G’s debut in 2018, investments have rocketed. The results are evident. Most Americans now enjoy 5G access. But to sustain this momentum, our licensing framework must evolve.

6G: A Future Defined by Spectrum

6G is on the horizon. And its success depends on timely spectrum allocation. Ericsson predicts the debut of 6G-compliant systems around 2028. We must act now. Securing the greenfield spectrum is crucial for 6G’s feasibility. The need for additional mid-band spectrum is undeniable.

Concluding Thoughts

In essence, the U.S. stands at a digital crossroads. A decisive National Spectrum Strategy can chart our course. We need more mid-band spectrum for 5G and 6G. As we transition to 6G, our focus should shift to bands offering broad bandwidths. A concerted strategy doesn’t just release spectrum; it secures U.S. primacy in emerging technologies. Will the U.S. rise to the challenge? Only time will tell.

Source: Ericsson

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