One of the most significant auctions of frequency spectrum in the world is about the start in the US. The process of moving spectrum-hogging broadcasters out of these valuable bands (a process known as spectrum refarming) began in the 1990s. How many Asia-Pacific spectrum managers have even got started on the job? How long will it be before the people of the region see the benefits of deploying 700 MHz spectrum for wireless broadband?
The radio spectrum licenses, which are to be returned from television broadcasters as they complete their conversion from analog to digital signals in February 2009, are as coveted as oil reserves are to energy companies. They will provide the winners with access to some of the best remaining spectrum — enabling them to send signals farther from a cell tower with far less power, through dense walls in cities, and over wider territories in rural areas that are now underserved.