Are Popular Wireless Services Like Wi-Fi and GPS Becoming the Pirate Radio of the 21st Century?

26 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2016

Date Written: June 28, 2016

Abstract

Wireless spectrum has generally been classified as licensed or unlicensed. Users of licensed spectrum are generally entitled to receive protection against interference within their band. Users of unlicensed spectrum are not. Recent considerations granted to Wi-Fi (an unlicensed service) in the face of entry by a competing technology known as LTE-U; granted to a mobile wireless provider once known as LightSquared to establish terrestrial transmitters in a previously “quiet” satellite band; and then granted to GPS (a licensed service) in the face of LightSquared’s entry into an adjacent licensed band, suggest that regulatory boundaries between licensed and unlicensed service types are blurring. Indeed, it appears that the FCC may be granting license-like protections to certain uses of spectrum because of their popularity or favor, rather than just their adherence to the FCC’s in-place spectrum use rules. This development may have important implications for future licensed and unlicensed service models and the value of FCC spectrum licenses.

Keywords: Licensed Spectrum; Unlicensed Spectrum; Pirate Radio; Wi-Fi; LTE-U; GPS; LightSquared

Suggested Citation

Clarke, Richard N., Are Popular Wireless Services Like Wi-Fi and GPS Becoming the Pirate Radio of the 21st Century? (June 28, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2847792 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2847792

Richard N. Clarke (Contact Author)

AT&T ( email )

1120 20th Street, NW
Suite 400 North
Washington, DC 20036
United States
+1.202.457.2130 (Phone)
+1.281.664.9664 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
52
Abstract Views
498
Rank
716,402
PlumX Metrics