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Radio spectrum: a critical natural resource

The Bread Guy

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Rifleman62 said:
He is getting paid for that opinion.
That's why I included the "Telus family" reference from the piece - thanks for sharing the "chief warlord of the Atlantic clan of the family" reference  ;D
 

PanaEng

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Rifleman62 said:
While your link, milnews.ca states:
Other links to the same op-ed state:

General
http://opinion.financialpost.com/category/fp-comment/

He is getting paid for that opinion.
He did clarify what that meant and I like the spirit of the message; however, we need more competition and an entrant with big pockets is just what the Canadian market needs - as well as some more smaller ones.
Access to freq is important for new parties iot operate. As well is access to the infrastructure - at a market price if there is a market or a mandated price if the is a monopoly.
There is also some bovine excrement being spouted about giving our money to the US. Money invested and jobs will benefit Canadians. If you want a share of the profits, invest in the company - anyone with an RRSP or other form of investment account can do it; Americans also own Tellus, Bell and Rogers.
 

Rifleman62

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To listen to the three telecoms and the union, Verizon is the deathstar.

If Canadians think that Verizon will operate in Canada with US prices they are nuts. Wal-Mart/Target et al, all came into Canada to make a profit knowing that Canadians will pay. "Whatever the market will bear" means  larger profit margins for business in Canada and Verizon wants a piece of it.

e.g. just one example. Why with the 1965 Canada-U.S. Auto Pact, which created a duty-free North American market for the automobile industry and NAFTA. 1994, are Canadians still paying thousands of dollars more for autos than in the US? Why is the Camaro, built only in Oshawa costing a couple of thousand dollars in F & PDI in Oshawa, and less than a thousand in Hawaii?

Note, the next generation (Oct 2015) of Camaro will be built in Flint Michigan. Goodbye 3500 + CAW jobs. You priced yourself out of the market just like you did with Caterpillar.

Verizon would not be able to operate in Canada without hiring people who live in Canada.

P.S. I have a Verizon cell phone with a Canada US call plan. No roaming or long distance charges. I do have a US address.

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/plan/nationwide-plus-canada
 

Fishbone Jones

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Just the fact that the "Big 3" are doing so much catterwalling, fear mongering and bringing out the big guns to sway opinion tells me that someone like Verizon needs to come in here and shake things up.
 

Brad Sallows

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>Money invested and jobs will benefit Canadians.

It's an interesting idea - more competition will result in lower costs to subscribers which means less revenue overall, but somehow with less revenue companies will be motivated to "invest more" and "hire more" rather than "cut costs" (eg. capital and payroll).

Prediction: the rate of change of wireless penetration is not going to be deflected significantly; the existing market will be divided among N+1 competitors rather than N; investment and head count will fall as companies seek ways to lower the cost side of the "profit = revenues - cost" equation.  Whatever Verizon adds in terms of hiring and investment will be lost (and more) from layoffs and reduced investment elsewhere.

>Americans also own Tellus, Bell and Rogers.

Foreign ownership limits apply to share ownership percentages.  TELUS has argued for higher limits on foreign ownership.

It'd be refreshing if people would acknowledge that the Big 3 are not out to stop Verizon from entering the Canadian market; what they have consistently argued is for Verizon to compete on exactly the same cost terms.  They aren't asking for Verizon to step in and bear a share of providing the vital national telecommunications infrastructure to all parts of Canada, only that Verizon compete on level terms for the privilege of entering the highly-profitable, high-density, urban wireless markets in order to ensure people get a few bucks a month off the cost of their YouTube downloads and have one more provider with which to eventually enjoy a dissatisfactory customer experience.
 

Edward Campbell

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My guess, and it may be a bad guess, is that Verizon, or another of the big foreign companies, will guarantee loans for the small new entrants to allow them to bid on the spectrum necessary to roll out a substantial national network. Then, and only then, a big foreigner can, safely, enter the market by buying up one or two of the new entrants.

The rules governing sharing of towers and so on are flexible enough. It is the spectrum rules that are contentious. And it's a two edged sword: if the auction is "free and open" then the Big Three, who have deep pockets and sweetheart deals with the big banks, will win; if some spectrum is reserved for new entrants then one of two situations will obtain ~ they will go belly up, no matter what, or they will be bought up by one of the Big Three à la Clearnet in 2000 and Fido in 2004.


Edit: typo
 

Infanteer

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Screw the big three, my cousin in the States was paying half of what we paid for monthly cell phone service....
 

a_majoor

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Some more technical means of assuring sufficient spectrum is avail for commercial use:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/08/optimal-placement-of-femtocells-will.html#more

Optimal placement of femtocells will help meet demand for wireless broadband

Communication will account for $4.5 trillion in economic activity globally in 2020. But if we have only half the spectrum we need to conduct business like we are used to doing, it could negatively impact the U.S. economy by about $750 billion.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) projects a spectrum shortage for broadband services in the near future.

Idaho National Laboratory researcher Dr. Juan Deaton has been working on a method that seeks to solve the approaching spectrum deficit by examining how cell networks could optimize spectrum use to get the most out of the existing range. Without optimizing spectrum use, the impacts of a spectrum deficit would extend from an individual level, like dropped calls and slow connections, to global economic consequences.

Deaton uses locations of real cell towers with population data to suggest the location of femto-cells to improve cell phone coverage.

The economic impact of bringing 500 MHz of spectrum (per the FCC's National Broadband Plan) to market by 2020 is $87 billion increase in U.S. GDP; at least 350,000 new U.S. jobs; additional $23.4 billion in government revenues; and $13.1 billion increase in wireless applications and content sales.

Wireless spectrum, also called radio spectrum, is a limited resource. Measured in hertz (Hz), the highest valued radio spectrum exists between 700 megahertz (MHz) and 2,000 MHz (or 2 gigahertz). Within the radio spectrum, the wireless service providers, such as Verizon, have licensed a total 608 MHz of spectrum bandwidth for mobile wireless applications, explained Deaton. This doesn’t include the other spectrum used for things like Wi-Fi.

Proposed solution

Based on the cellular traffic demand in a given area, Deaton’s method assigns frequency channels (spectrum) to cell tower sites in order to best meet the demand for the largest amount of people.

Using Global Information System (GIS) data, Deaton’s method incorporates population information, building footprints and cell tower sites to generate a network model. The method then shows optimal usage of spectrum in the network. By taking building footprints overlaid with population data, Deaton is able to discern both where the strongest demands are and where to put additional tiny cell towers, called femto-cells.

“Adding more cells together increases the bandwidth footprint and each individual will get more data per area,” said Deaton. “The best way to optimize is to have multiple, small cell towers — then you can reuse frequencies more often.”

The research derived from Deaton's model points to the benefits of building multiple, smaller cell towers and sharing spectrum.

Despite the capabilities of the wireless optimization method, Deaton admits there are some limitations. First, putting up many tiny towers can be logistically difficult in urban areas where network companies need to work with building owners to construct more sites.

Second, the current mobile wireless broadband economy is not based on spectrum sharing, but rather on private ownership of spectrum bands. The current approach for licensing spectrum may limit new market entrants and new wireless services. Spectrum sharing could open the market to new services and the ability to optimize existing spectrum using Deaton’s method.
 
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