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Google pushing for open spectrum

Kevin Fitchard at TelephonyOnline reports that Google’s Vint Cerf is pushing for open spectrum among mobile operators.

Vint Cerf, Google’s chief Internet evangelist, is advocating a policy of spectrum sharing among operators. At the Open Mobile Summit, Cerf said that new modulation schemes in wireless would allow for the simultaneous occupation of the same spectrum by multiple parties, making the notion of a single operator/single license obsolete. For instance, orthogonal frequency division multiplexing access, which is the basis for WiMax and long-term evolution, abandons the notion of a single wide channel and instead splits a band into multiple sub-channels or tones, which could be used to dynamically create channels of varying widths. By tweaking the technologies already in development today for multiple entities, the industry could make a huge leap forward in more efficiently utilizing public spectrum resources, Cerf said.

An open spectrum policy would allow transmitters and receivers to decide in real time which frequencies to use, rather than assigning them frequencies ahead of time. This would enable more efficient use of spectrum, so long as the technology is capable of doing the real-time negotiating. It would also royally piss off carriers who have paid tons of money — billions — to buy allocations of spectrum.

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