FCC pledges to "unleash" 4G mobile broadband spectrum

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has pledged to "unleash the spectrum" for 4G mobile broadband. According to Genachowski, the next generation of mobile technology will "make all the difference."

"More and more I hear people say that broadband is the future of mobile, and I agree. I also believe the reverse is true - mobile is essential to the future of broadband. And the next generation of mobile technology - 4G - will make all the difference," said Genachowski. "4G will provide mobile connectivity several times faster than we have today. It will provide a mobile Internet experience comparable to today's wireline networks - data rates measured in megabits per second instead of kilobits, latencies in mere milliseconds."

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The Chairman noted that Clearwire has already launched WiMAX in 14 markets, while Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and MetroPCS have each announced plans to launch LTE over the next year or two.

"But of course it's easier to roll-out a press release than roll-out a network. There is a lot of work to do, and I know it won't be easy. In fact, I believe that that the biggest threat to the future of mobile in America is the looming spectrum crisis," warned Genachowski. "[That is why] I want to announce our Mobile Broadband Agenda - [a] four-part plan to promote a world-leading wireless landscape in the United States."

Genachowski explained that the FCC would help the wireless industry and "all stakeholders" expedite the introduction of 4G services by taking concrete steps, which include unleashing spectrum for 4G mobile broadband and removing obstacles to "robust and ubiquitous" 4G deployment. In addition, the Commission is expected to provide "fair rules" of the road for an open Internet and "empower" consumers by supporting a competitive marketplace.

"Communications technologies are complex and changing rapidly, nowhere more than mobile, and my time in business has convinced me that the last thing we want is heavyhanded and prescriptive regulation. Our goal is to empower innovators, not lawyers. That is why we are prioritizing consumer transparency," added Genachowski.