RF Shorts – March 24, 2011

Two interesting observations this week on the broadband spectrum “crisis”:

• Dean M. writes on HedgeFundLive.com Wireless Spectrum Shortage… I Don’t Think So. 6 Reasons Why I Believe There Will Not Be A Spectrum Shortage In The Next Decade. Some of the points n the article: “1) It appears to me that at least currently, there is a large surplus of spectrum. The US market is near full saturation in mobile phones yet I still see multiple cell phone commercials every hour on TV which indicates to me that the carriers, at least currently, are able to add subscribers to their systems without running out of spectrum. It seems like the carriers are simply trading their subscribers between one another.” “2) There are many carriers with more spectrum than they currently know what to do with. Take Clearwire for example, they currently have 46bln Mhz-POPs of spectrum serving a tiny 4.4mln subscribers. Their growth in retail subs has slowed and the company is now trying to sell some of its spectrum. Apparently, it is having trouble doing so as this spectrum has been for sale since the middle of last year. “ Read the full article for the other 4 reasons.

• The Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required), has a different take on the issue in Holman Jenkins, Jr's article AT&T's Big Bet on Spectrum Policy - The merger between AT&T and T-Mobile is a vote of impatience with Washington's proposed fix for the mobile spectrum crisis. “To begin with, talking about a spectrum shortage is a bit like talking about a real-estate shortage. There is plenty of real estate, most of it of little value because it's in places where nobody wants it. The same is true of spectrum. In a few places like New York City or San Francisco, concentrated populations of mobile users are overwhelming local cell towers. But these dense markets also attract lots of players, so there would be no shortage of competitors even with the AT&T deal.”

John R. Quain, writing on MSNBC.MSN.com, reports GPS jammers can wreak havoc, cover crimes -- GPS vulnerable to security threats to individual devices, nation's basic infrastructure. “For as little as $30, GPS jammers, or 'anti-GPS' devices, are available for personal use and can be as small as a 12-volt car cigarette-lighter power adapter with an antenna attached.” The article references the Royal Academy of Engineering report previously discussed in RF Report

News service AFP reports via Google Tokyo's new tower survives quake to reach full height. The Tokyo Sky Tree reached 2,080 feet last Friday.