Spectrum Scarcity and the Consumer

Can you imagine having to wait your turn to make a mobile phone call? It may seem like a far-fetched concept, but it’s a practical reality in many large urban areas where completing a call during peak times has become a frustrating challenge. After years of double digit growth, the nation’s wireless networks simply don’t have enough capacity on their towers to support the more than 300 million mobile devices in this country.

This spectrum shortage has been compounded by the popularity of smart phones, which use 24 times more wireless capacity than a regular handset. Wireless tablets, such as an iPad, use five times as much as a smartphone, and netbooks send and receive four times as much data as a tablet. It’s easy to see how all those videos, photos and Facebook updates are clogging our nation’s networks and leading to dropped calls and no service signals.

The trend towards more network congestion is clear, and that’s not good news for consumers who are used to technology advancements providing faster speeds and lower prices. But the nation’s wireless networks are not keeping up with the rapid advancement of our mobile devices. Rather than keep up with demand, Verizon and AT&T have begun to ration their customers. Both companies recently stopped offering unlimited wireless plans, meaning that it will cost subscribers more to access the same services.

LightSquared is poised to help alleviate the problem by putting a huge new chunk of airwaves to use. We plan to build a 4G-LTE network that will provide world-class connectivity in urban and rural America. LightSquared’s wholesale model will give a host of different companies – from regional wireline providers to retailers to device manufacturers – the opportunity to offer competitively-priced wireless services while providing the same or better speeds and features as the national carriers. LightSquared is what our nation’s wireless consumers need now.