The Spectrum Handbook 2018


Summit Ridge Group recently engaged in an exhaustive effort to document and explain the fundamental issues related to wireless spectrum. The result of this effort is The Spectrum Handbook 2018 with 392 pages, 124 figures/tables and 446 footnotes. It is a major update of our prior publication, The Spectrum Handbook 2013.

The Spectrum Handbook 2018 is intended to serve as a primer on the electromagnetic spectrum for those new to the industry, and also as a reference source for experienced practitioners.

Hard copies of The Spectrum Handbook 2018 are available for sale on Amazon.  Free PDF. versions are available on SSRN or this website.

Where's the Spectrum Handbook?

To generate some awareness for The Spectrum Handbook 2018 (and have some fun), we started an effort similar to the “Flat Stanley Project”. The goal is to get pictures of the book in places that are unexpected, exotic, and/or famous. It’s certainly not incumbent upon readers to do so, but feel free to make a photo contribution if you are in the mood and the opportunity arises. Send to

Praise for The Spectrum Handbook 2018

We’ve been fortunate that The Spectrum Handbook 2018 has received numerous endorsements from leading figures in the telecommunications sector. Samples of these endorsements are below.

“Spectrum is the information pathway of the 21st century. Understanding the basics of spectrum – from the physics to the applications – is therefore an essential skill. The Spectrum Handbook lays everything out in a way that makes it indispensable.”

Thomas E. Wheeler – Former Chairman of the FCC, and Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School

“Everything you ever wanted to know (and more) about spectrum, a key resource in the Information Age, is here in this amazingly inclusive primer and reference guide. Kudos to the authors for producing such a highly valuable handbook.”

Richard E. Wiley – Former Chairman, Federal Communications Commission Founding Partner, Wiley Rein LLP

“An exhaustive compendium for the spectrum guru or the spectrum novice, The Spectrum Handbook 2018 is also extremely well-indexed and accessible. The valuation section and detailed descriptions of the full range of spectrum-based technologies are particularly valuable. A timely resource as we move into new spectrum frontiers.”

Michele C. Farquhar – Communications Practice Leader, Hogan Lovells LLPFormer Chief of the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau

“Comprehensive guide to spectrum management and policy. A go-to reference!”

Paul Kolodzy, Ph.D. – Kolodzy Consulting, Chair, IEEE Dynamic Spectrum Access Network Conf. Steering Committee and Former Senior Spectrum Policy Advisor, FCC

“The Spectrum Handbook 2018 offers comprehensive and accessible answers to just about every question one could have about spectrum management and the wireless business. Authors Armand Musey and Barlow Keener have made a truly worthwhile contribution to the literature by compiling this indispensable resource. You will use this primer frequently.”

Rob Frieden, Pioneers Chair and Professor of Telecommunications and Law, Penn State University”

“As pervasive as wireless services are today, the wireless revolution is just getting started. Whether you invest in startups or public companies in technology, media or communications understanding how radio spectrum is allocated, licensed, used, shared, bought and sold – and which bands support different services – will give you an edge. With the 2018 update the Summit Ridge handbook is an even more comprehensive desk reference for investors – just the right amount of information on a huge range of topics in a manageable size with extensive references for further research. I don’t know of anything like it.”

John Hane – President, Spectrum LLC, Former partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

“The Spectrum Handbook 2018is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to get up to speed and stay current on spectrum policy. Whether you have spent years dealing with these complex issues or are just getting started, this compendium of knowledge is the go-to guide. From the basic physics of radio frequencies to the complex regulatory regimes around the world that govern it, the authors have covered it all in this well-organized and comprehensive guide.”

John Heitman – Chair of Communications Practice, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

“Spectrum and wireless data are the fundamental building blocks of cloud computing and hence our economy, and this fabulous book describes these assets and technologies better than anything else we have ever read.”

Timothy K. Horan – Managing Director, Head of Communication and Cloud Services Research
Oppenheimer & Co., Inc

“The Spectrum Handbook 2018is an invaluable resource for operators and investors in the fixed and mobile broadband ecosystems. Summit Ridge Group has distilled the technical, regulatory and practical elements of understanding spectrum into an easily digestible and referenceable format.
There really is no other publication out there like it.”

Jeff Kohler – Co-Founder, Rise Broadband

“There is a wind of change in spectrum use; learn where the wind is blowing. The breadth of the handbook overwhelms by covering technology, economics, law, and regulations affecting the use of spectrum bands in the U.S. and globally. I compliment the authors for collecting and presenting deep spectrum knowledge with juristic accuracy but without losing readability.”

Dr. Heikki Kokkinen – CEO and Co-Founder Fairspectrum Oy, Finland”

“Summit Ridge’s handbook is a boon for academics and practitioners seeking to engage the difficult issues of valuing, transacting, and planning wireless investments. It provides a comprehensive and holistic overview of the technical, legal, and economic challenges of spectrum management in a single and easily accessible volume that still manages to go deep in addressing the challenges confronting the experts today. In light of the fast pace of innovation, we are lucky to have a recently updated and expanded Spectrum Handbook 2018!”

William Lehr, Ph.D. – Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“An extraordinarily comprehensive and well-organized overview of the multi-faceted complexities of spectrum issues, including technical, economic and regulatory considerations. The Spectrum Handbook 2018is an invaluable primer for both those new to the field and a handy reference for experienced practitioners.”

Andrew D. Lipman – Partner and Legal Practice Group Leader, Morgan Lewis

“The Spectrum Handbook 2018is a rare – and extremely valuable – guide to the business and regulatory issues affecting the use of spectrum in the 21st Century. The Handbook goes beyond the typical review of US regulatory issues by supplying the technical overview that is so often lacking from other handbooks. Additionally, the Handbook provides an excellent review of global markets, plus an insider’s discussion of the valuation process. The Handbook is a great reference guide for both experienced telecoms professionals and those new to the industry.”

Lee G. Petro – Special Counsel, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, President, Federal Communications Bar Association (2018-2019)

“A very comprehensive book covering, every aspect and issues related to spectrum, a necessary resource for all wireless services. Excellent read and reference source for anyone involved in spectrum from new to the field to experienced practitioners, they are guaranteed to learn something.”

Veena Rawat, O.C., Ph.D – Senior Spectrum Advisor and CEO, Expert Strategies International
Former President of Industry Canada’s Communications Research Center

“The Spectrum Handbook 2018is a comprehensive survey of spectrum regulation, key technologies, and the state of the wireless business. It focuses on the United States but includes surveys of key countries worldwide. It would serve well as either a primer for someone entering the field or as a handy reference for those well-versed in the field.”

Pierre de Vries – Co-director, Spectrum Policy Initiative at Silicon Flatirons Center
University of Colorado”