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Spectrum

The benefits of mobile broadband depend upon the availability of adequate and appropriate spectrum. Qualcomm believes in freeing new spectrum in a responsible way to meet the demands of consumers and businesses.

Broadband in general and mobile broadband in particular are key to prosperity and growth around the world. Mobile broadband has already transformed the way we live, and mobile broadband technologies, devices and applications are helping to improve education, energy efficiency, and the delivery of health care.

Every day, new mobile devices and applications enter the market, resulting in extraordinary increases in wireless traffic. Mobile broadband subscriptions surpassed fixed in 2010 and are estimated to contribute more than 75 percent of total broadband subscriptions by 2014.1

Industry and government leaders recognize that this ever-increasing demand for mobile broadband will result in a spectrum crunch unless more licensed spectrum is allocated for mobile broadband. In the U.S., the FCC addressed this issue in detail in its National Broadband Plan.

At Qualcomm, one of our guiding principles has always been that spectrum is a very valuable and scarce resource, so we strive to design the most spectrally efficient technologies possible. But, improvements in technology alone cannot solve the spectrum crunch; more spectrum is needed. Without it, wireless capacity cannot keep up with demand and everyone’s service will suffer.

Additional licensed spectrum will also enable mobile broadband to extend wireless connectivity to those still without access. Mobile broadband is the cost-effective, practical way to bring broadband to rural areas, where distance and geography make more traditional wiring too costly, if not impossible.

Likewise, increasing licensed spectrum can help improve education by expanding projects that use wireless to improve student achievement—especially for students in poor urban and rural districts with limited wire-based connectivity. Similarly, more spectrum will enable the use of mobile broadband, both to improve the quality of our health care and to reduce health care costs.

In the U.S., we applaud the FCC’s call for the reallocation of 300 MHz of additional spectrum for mobile broadband over the next five years and 500 MHz of additional spectrum over the next 10 years. We support the proposal from the FCC and the Administration for voluntary incentive auctions as one important tool to achieve these goals.

Additional Resources on Spectrum


1 Industry analyst forecasts, January 2011