2008 is here and in the District of Communications some folks are already showing a predisposition to bring back some of the wireless rhetoric from last year.
On January 22, the New America Foundation will hold a panel discussion on whether more regulation is needed in the wireless space.
My suggestion to New America: instead of leading the discussion with the same old rhetoric – let’s start the new year focusing on how government can spur continued innovation in the wireless industry. For instance, let’s look at ways to free up spectrum from the federal government. They are sitting on a majority of it. In many cases, it is not being used or not being used efficiently.
In addition to freeing capacity, let’s look at ways to update some of the antiquated wireless regulations. There are a bunch of regs at the FCC (Part 22 – Public Mobile Services, and Part 17 – antenna construction, marking and lighting) that are outdated and no longer necessary.
With regard to openness, 2008 and beyond is about personalizing the wireless device. This is a good thing. Each device will continue to evolve (from just ringtones and music) to allowing more applications (provided they are in sync with the network) on your phone. The result of this enhancement of customer experience will result in increasing loyalty (less churn) and higher ARPU for the carrier.
It is clear that voters this cycle are responding to change. Let’s change the way we approach the wireless industry and focus on ways to spur the innovators not the regulators!
Dish Disclosure – Tin Can Communications ™ represents Capitol Solutions (on behalf of the Wireless Broadband Coalition). The Wireless Broadband Coalition is focused on federal spectrum issues. The Wireless Broadband Coalition is: Alcatel-Lucent, at&t, Cisco, Earthlink, Nortel, Qualcomm, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.