WASHINGTON, May 27, 2022 – Spectrum sharing may provide unique opportunities for needed bandwidth, but it is not an ultimate solution, and the United States cannot afford to refuse any strategy that frees up more spectrum, said a spectrum expert. Wednesday at an event at Georgetown University.
Spectrum sharing often refers to dynamic spectrum sharing, a process by which an operator uses a radio band that is already in use by an incumbent operator. The incumbent may not use the band all the time, and so the incumbent may allow the secondary operator to use the band when the incumbent does not need it.
At an event hosted by the university’s Center for Business and Public Policy, the CEO of Rysavy Research Pierre Rysavy stated that while this process may have useful applications, its usefulness is not limitless.
Rysavy explained that spectrum sharing solutions were only developed to address specific scenarios for specific systems. “We don’t have a general purpose spectrum sharing solution today – that can be applied to arbitrary systems,” he said.
This specialized and complex nature makes spectrum sharing solutions not only more expensive, but also longer to deploy.
Rysavy argued for what he called “the whole of the above approach”, in which spectrum sharing, licensed and unlicensed spectrum strategies are used to meet the growing need for the United States. in broadband as 5G services continue to expand.
He mentioned several flagship applications for 5G, such as home broadband, augmented reality, and the metaverse that will entirely depend on 5G infrastructure.
“We’re really reaching the limits of physics when it comes to technology efficiency,” Rysavy said. “There are other things you can do around the edges, but you can’t go any further with technology.”
Rysavy explained that growing physical infrastructure — like increasing the number of small cell signal amplifiers — isn’t enough to solve the need for bandwidth. “Ultimately, you have to keep adding more spectrum into the equation – there’s just no other way around it.”
Although Rysavy noted that wireless cannot compete with fiber in terms of bandwidth, he said it shouldn’t be considered a “wireless vs. fiber” situation.
“The way to look at it is that we extend the fiber through the environment and close to the endpoint all the time,” he said. “The question then is simply ‘how do we connect those last 100 meters? “”