Report – The Consumer Benefits of Expanding Shared Use of the Public Airwaves

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on November 30, 2011

News release: “Our analysis of The Consumer Benefits of Expanding Shared Use of the Public Airwaves, which we are releasing today demonstrates that spectrum made available for shared use without a license (unlicensed spectrum), has played a central and critical role in growth of wireless broadband data service. In fact, the shared use model has performed as well as, if not better than, the exclusive licensed model, even though unlicensed spectrum was considered to be “junk” by commercial operators. Using unlicensed technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, consumers receive higher quality service at lower prices.

  • Consumers “extend” broadband service to their mobile devices at home and directly access hundreds of thousands of public and private hot spots across the U.S. This adds over $25 billion per year in value to broadband service.

  • The efficient use of shared spectrum allows cellular wireless providers to “offload” more than one-third of their data traffic, dramatically reducing the number of cell sites they have to build and operate. This lowers the cost of service by at least another $25 billion per year.
  • Intensive intra-firm communications, remote metering and monitoring, tagging of assets and goods, pay and go billing, and a host of others machine-to-machine applications, all of which rely on shared use spectrum, save businesses tens of billions of dollars per year.”

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