While interest in spectrum sharing has grown substantially in recent years, spectrum access has become more challenged. This is a key message being discussed today during the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) Global Summit 2018 in London.
During a panel titled ‘Is Technology the Best Manager of Spectrum?’ representatives from Ofcom, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), DTG, European Commission, ATDI, LS Telecom and Weightless SIG discussed how the traditional model of spectrum management, based primarily around exclusive access to spectrum or static sharing arrangements, risks being both limited and wasteful. Databases with information to drive more efficient use of spectrum through understanding where and how spectrum is used were discussed to understand the challenges that governments face in utilizing these new systems and spectrum management tools.
William Webb, CEO of Weightless SIG moderated the panel and commented: "Spectrum sharing methods have been known for decades and regulatory bodies have professed their support for many years. Yet concepts like dynamic database access have actual use in only a handful of countries. There are various impediments often in the form of incumbents keen to maintain the status quo and risk-averse regulators. It is important to explore how we overcome these and realise the benefits that shared spectrum access clearly has to offer."
Today marks the final day of the Global Summit, and the morning began with keynote addresses from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) and Nominet.
Commenting today, Mario Mankiewicz, Deputy Director, Radiocommunications Bureau, ITU said: “As part of ITU’s mandate to ensure that radio frequency resources are used rationally, efficiently and economically, ITU-R Study Groups develop global standards and best practices in spectrum management. For this purpose, they gather all stakeholders to consider innovative spectrum access approaches. DSA membership is encouraged to participate in these studies aimed at building a sustainable radiocommunication ecosystem that provides universal and affordable access to telecommunications and ICT.”
The Summit addressed how access to capital remains one of the greatest barriers to commercially sustainable investments in new technologies, especially in emerging markets. A panel of experts representing regional and global economic development institutions including the World Economic Forum, Prescient, Good Networks and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) discussed the various investment vehicles available for small and established companies ranging from grants, loans, equity and crowd-sourced investment.
The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance Award winners have also been announced, recognising the efforts of individuals in furthering innovation, increasing inclusion and pursuing new opportunities in dynamic spectrum access. The winners included:
Dr. Salomão David Sumbula, Head of the Office of Studies, Market Regulation and Development, Instituto Nacional das Comunicações de Moçambique (Innovation in Dynamic Spectrum Access Policies)
Mr. Willington Ngwepe, CEO, Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Innovation in Dynamic Spectrum Access Policies)
Mr. Allen Tuladhar, CEO, Picosoft (Increasing Digital Inclusion)
Mr. Mario Cerutti, Green Coffee Corporate Relations Director, Lavazza (Internet of Things Innovation)
Mr. Julius Knapp, Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, Federal Communications Commission (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Dr. Edward Knightly, Department Chair, Rice University Wireless Network Group (Student-led Initiative or Research on New Opportunities for Dynamic Spectrum Access)
Kalpak Gude, President of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance commented: “This year’s Dynamic Spectrum Alliance Award winners highlight the tremendous amount of progress that is being made in the industry and the winner’s stories provide proof that various spectrum sharing regulatory regimes across a variety of complementary spectrum bands can be coordinated to lower the cost of broadband. This type of activity allows 5G and Internet of Things deployments across the globe and will help to connect the remaining 4 billion people who remain without Internet access.”