I participated in a panel at the Super Wi-Fi Summit in Miami on January 31st titled, “The Financial Community and Shared Spectrum: Looking for Common Ground.” Other panelists included: Bill Evenson of CIT; Chuck Walters of Walters Associates; and Thomas Carroccio of the Law Offices of A. Thomas Carroccio PLLC (Moderator). My slides from this investment panel are attached.
One of the issues that resonated was how spectrum valuation might change if an when shared spectrum use becomes more prevalent. One of the key aspects to spectrum licenses is that they provides the licensee with a monopoly over the spectrum (or an oligopoly over spectrum within a range) and the monopoly profits that go with it. As unlicensed entrants enter the may potentially erode these monopoly profits. This may partially explain the reluctance of licensees to embrace any type of shared spectrum use – even if it is secondary to theirs on a non-interference basis. While this is not a significant valuation issue for licensed spectrum today, it may become significant if the spectrum sharing movement grows.