19 April 2006

Spectrum markets in the press

Many readers of this blog know that I have been interested in spectrum markets for some time. While important, this topic has been one of interest mainly to policy wonks and researchers in this field. Thus, when this article came to my attention, I was delighted that there may be greater mainstream interest in this topic emerging.

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1 comment:

KuangChiu Huang said...

I haev two comments for this article:

1.It is necessary to bid spectrum for wireless broadband service. If big Internet content providers enter broadband market and plan to guarantee certain level of QoS, they need an exclusive radio band to make sure it is controllable. For example, Qware, the sole builder and operator of Taipei WiFi, has confronted problems in service quality and could not reach its expected subscription number. While connecting WiFi, some users complain they find many SSIDs from different access points and some of them have stronger power than Qware’s signal. Interference in the unlicensed spectrum causes their connection failure or slow of transmission. It seems a tough problem for city WiFi in this moment and a suitable solution has not emerged for unlicensed spectrum yet. In addition, competitors of Qware’s WiFi come not only from existing wired broadband service providers but also from 3G service providers, wireless data service provider with exclusive radio band.

2.Can network neutrality be achieved by major Internet players entering wireless broadband service market? On the one hand, protection of their content from discrimination is the major incentive to persuade Internet content providers to bid radio bands and enter wireless broadband market. However, if they can control packet delivery, they will have a new role as delivery middlemen with the identical incentive as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast to charge extra fee for increasing revenue. On the other hand, the duopoly market structure, cable modem and ADSL, would be collapsed by new entrants. With no collusion or strong alliance, it could be tough to engage in price discrimination for identical service (packet delivery). If that so, new spectrum auction may reach network neutrality without legal involvement.