WBA and DSA sign unlicensed spectrum development pact

The scope for telecoms, networking and the Internet of Things (IoT) was widened yesterday as two of the technology industry’s most influential bodies formed a pact to jointly develop and regulate spectrum resources.

Vendor group The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has signed a pact with the legally-focused Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) to promote and support the development of unlicensed wireless technologies. By removing inconsistencies, resolving conflicts of interests and agreeing standards, they could help the stakeholders in a variety of industries to make use of previously untapped resources.

White Space, one of many types of unlicensed spectrum not currently regulated, could be harnessed for commercial purposes by many members of the WBA, such as vendors involved in creating Wi-Fi services, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Converged Services, Smart Cities and 5G.

The new alliance was organised so that this multitude of vendors could work on common standards and a regulated form of progress, without clashing with the interests of members of the DSA, whose members advocate laws and regulation that will lead to more efficient and effective spectrum utilisation.

Mutual engagement will help all members break ground in the unexplored territory of unlicensed spectrum without leading to clashes in the future, according to WBA CEO Shrikant Shenwai.

“Innovative solutions need to be explored to maximize the efficiency of wireless spectrum use. The combination of Wi-Fi and other unlicensed wireless technologies need effective use of spectrum,” said Shenwai, “The work of the WBA and the DSA will expedite the availability of a new generation of Internet access and act as a positive force.”

The objective is to support Governments with their economic growth and empower a new wave of inventive start-ups to harness the potential of the unlicensed wireless ecosystem, according to agenda H Nwana, Executive Director of the DSA. “We jointly commit to educate and promote the development and expansion of unlicensed wireless technologies to new non-traditional markets.”

Both organizations will also cooperate at their respective industry leading events.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Nwana was Group Director of Spectrum Policy at Ofcom, where he ran UK’s Spectrum Policy and spearheaded UK’s dynamic spectrum management activities, specifically focusing on TV White Spaces for broadband and other applications. While at Ofcom, Nwana was responsible for multi-million pound policy projects including the UK’s Digital TV Clearance programme (part of UK’s digital switchover programme) which concluded in 2013. Nwana also oversaw the UK 4G auction that raised billions and concluded in February 2013.

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