The article references the recent PCAST report, as well as public comments made by FCC Chairman Genachowski and a report by the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as signs that spectrum sharing must be embraced as a new reality.
Key to the sharing of spectrum, however, is the availability of technology to enable users to effectively share airwaves in ways that were previously not possible – and not considered necessary by the designers of traditional fixed-frequency systems. The article points to cognitive radio as a potentially driving force in changing spectrum policy. xG's xMax technology solution is discussed as a way in which:
"a mobile device could soon be able to scan spectrum bands–bands controlled by a federal government agency–for a clear, 'unused' channel, select it, and then immediately begin transmitting and receiving data over it."
The article states that government efforts to secure additional spectrum have thus far fallen short. xG Vice President of Marketing Rick Rotondo is quoted as saying:
“I think everyone is realizing that dedicating spectrum and dividing it up in all these little pieces, which are reserved for people who may or may not be using it at any one time, doesn't make sense any more.”
While the concept of spectrum sharing via technology has not yet been fully embraced by the major wireless carriers, that is expected to change. Eventually, cognitive technologies like xG's xMax could be as integral to helping carriers solve capacity issues as Wi-Fi has been, with even wider coverage capability. As Rick Rotondo pointed out in the Bloomberg article:
“Spectrum sharing should be seen not as an 'either-or’ but 'in addition to,’ just as Wi-Fi networks are 'in addition to' the carriers' core networks. The [carriers’] statements about spectrum sharing sound very similar to what they said about Wi-Fi. They were once against Wi-Fi. When they needed Wi-Fi to offload data traffic, their attitude changed. Theirs is more a statement of attitude than a fact about the technology.”
xG Technology, Inc.