Mobile Technology and Spectrum Policy: Innovation and Competition [September 30, 2014] [open pdf - 462KB]
"The convergence of Internet and mobile technologies has, within the last decade, transformed wireless communications and created a dynamo of innovation and economic growth. The list of applications that enable products and provide services through smart wireless devices is long and growing rapidly as new industries incorporate wireless technologies into their products. Wireless and mobile telecommunications products include not only smart phones and tablets but also utility meters, road traffic sensors, robots, autonomous vehicles, unmanned aerial systems, tractors, and household appliances, to cite but a few examples of existing and new technologies that are widely predicted to bring about profound changes in how Americans work and play. The composition of the wireless telecommunications industry is changing as companies with important stakes in spectrum-dependent technologies move from innovation to implementation. The arrival of these technologies is accompanied by a crowd of policy questions covering issues such as employment, training, education, privacy, cybersecurity, and research and development. This report focuses on the interaction between technological change and spectrum policy, and how the accelerating pace of change may require a timely transition to new spectrum policies. Emerging technologies may require, or work better with, new network concepts to carry wireless transmissions over distances long or short. The arrival of new products, new services, and new concepts in network design may lead to the introduction of new models of competition and investment that might benefit from new spectrum policies."
CRS Report for Congress, R43595