A recent media article stating that Steve Jobs wanted to build an unlicensed network for the iPhone peaked my interest on speaking about unlicensed spectrum and the way it has been carved out by the FCC. I have always been against licensed spectrum making wireless expensive. The recent auctions both AWS and 700MHz have shown that it is all but a numbers game and deeper the pockets of the Operator the more spectrum they have are able to garner. Spectrum has been called the oxygen for wireless operators and in many ways it is as all commercial operators. Recognizing this potential the Obama administration and the FCC has made plans to make available 300 MHz of new spectrum over 5 years and 500 MHz over the next 10 years, which is almost, doubles the 547 MHz of spectrum that we license out today.
The recent reports in the Industry about Clearwire looking for suitors to divest itself of its spectrum holdings, has created a buzz for the top 4 carriers including Sprint. Will Clearwire sell its goose which lays the golden eggs? Only time will tell and it remains to be seen if the partners will rush to provide the much needed $5 Billion in cash that Clearwire needs to further its footprint and deploy an LTE network.
While Clearwire’s success as a standalone entity certainly faces many challenges in the market it competes in, the company’s depth and breadth of spectrum holdings assures that it will be a leader in the wireless data revolution both now and in the near future, as more mobile users seek available airwaves for their increasing communications needs. In a nation facing a “spectrum crisis,” Clearwire stands alone in having enough available airwaves to build a “network of networks,” both now and as far into the future as its builders can see. According to Bloomberg repor..