The Economic Times (India), 10 December 2010
The 2G spectrum scam has highlighted the economic and commercial value of spectrum. Mobile services are critical to our shift towards a more knowledge and service-based economy. The increasing mobility of our workforce has created the need for the ability to send and receive data on the go. Competitive pressures have accentuated this need. The decreasing price-performance ratio and the ability to access the internet have further increased the need for mobile wireless services.
The critical input for these services is the electromagnetic spectrum. However, since electromagnetic waves may interfere to effectively manage wireless communications, allocations are often made on an exclusive basis. So, each country has its own institutions and regime to manage it. But with changes in technology, it has become possible to provide for shared usage amongst multiple users in the same band as in Wi-Fi or through cognitive radios. Such changes require a rethink of the existing institutions and instruments for managing wireless.