This week, Mobile Future, an association of cutting-edge technology and communications companies and a diverse group of non-profit organizations, released a paper titled “The Importance of Permissionless Innovation in Unlicensed Bands.” The paper emphasizes the key role that the open regulatory framework for unlicensed spectrum played in establishing unlicensed spectrum as the space where innovators could develop new technologies and ideas that have added significant consumer value and benefits to the mobile industry. Additionally, Mobile Future credits the current policies governing unlicensed spectrum as playing a key role in the United States’ global leadership in mobile innovation.
The paper highlights how FCC policy encouraging innovation in unlicensed spectrum has spurred innovation for over seventy-five years.
“The tremendous number of devices that are today utilizing the unlicensed spectrum bands is a testament to the wisdom of the Commission’s light touch approach. Data from seventy-five years of experience demonstrate that the FCC’s policy of authorizing unlicensed devices to operate without regard to compliance with particular standards or etiquettes, but instead subject only to limits on power and certain operating parameters, is fostering innovation and critical economic growth. Even in an environment which is crowded with devices that have the potential to cause interference to one another, manufacturers have developed distinct technologies utilizing the unlicensed bands that permit wireless devices to co-exist and flourish. The Commission’s record of success in maintaining its flexible approach should be a lodestar when considering new technologies entering existing unlicensed bands. As shown with earlier iterations of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, industry has a track record of working together, without Commission mandates, to promote an environment in which the risk of interference is limited and consumers prevail.”
Unlicensed spectrum is available for everyone and to any technology. As evidenced once again by this paper, unlicensed spectrum is crucial to the growth of mobile communications and to spurring new consumer products and services. The current regulatory framework works. It has allowed tremendous innovations, investment in new technologies and new consumer benefits.
EVOLVE and its members are working to preserve the current unlicensed policy framework so that new technologies like LTE unlicensed can develop and bring new benefits to mobile consumers everywhere.
You can access the full paper here.