IDT Puts Spectrum Up For Sale - InformationWeek

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10/13/2009
01:26 PM
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IDT Puts Spectrum Up For Sale

The move comes as the government and companies are asking if there is enough licensed spectrum to handle future mobile data needs.

IDT Spectrum said Tuesday it is accepting offers for its holdings in 38-GHz and 28-31-GHz spectrum licenses.

The company said its portfolio consists of 931 licenses in the 38-GHz spectrum, and 16 licenses in the 28-31-GHz spectrum. These licenses are in the top 25 markets of the United States, and also include a good portion of spectrum in the New York City market. IDT said the licenses are capable of high-bandwidth technologies like 4G, which could make it an attractive target for the likes of Verizon Wireless because it is trying to roll out a Long-Term Evolution network on an aggressive schedule.

"Networks nationwide are straining to accommodate new bandwidth intensive applications," said Michael Rapaport, president of IDT Spectrum, in a statement. "Our licenses enable scalable and cost effective wireless backhaul and last mile solutions."

The move comes as the industry is increasingly questioning if there is enough spectrum to handle future mobile data needs, particularly as devices like the iPhone lead to data-hungry applications. For example, AT&T said its wireless data traffic has increased by more than 18 times over the past two years. This trend is expected to continue, as Motorola recently said nearly 40 million American consumers actively use mobile Internet services, a 75% increase from just two years ago.

The issue has also caught the attention of the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, as Julius Genachowski has said there is a "looming spectrum crisis." The federal agency is seeking comment on spectrum allocation needs, and it may reallocate existing spectrum for future mobile data needs.

"We must identify spectrum that can best be reinvested in mobile broadband," said Genachowski during last week's CTIA conference.


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