LONDON --- Wireless industry consultant Geoff Varrall of RTT (London) has issued a research note strongly critical of the decision by the European Commission to adopt a 'technology neutral let the market decide' position on the split between FDD and TDD channels in the 2.6 GHz extension band. He also queries the WiMAX Forum's strong backing for the apparent regulatory victory.
In the note, titled "Spectral Inefficiency and Industrial Inefficiency as a Cost of Light Touch Regulation" Varrall argues that letting 'the market' decide how spectrum should be allocated and used is an abrogation of regulatory responsibility. "Market decisions are dictated by short term considerations. These are not compatible with long term spectral planning."
We agree with most of Varrall's argument for more rather than less regulation combined with a more closely coupled and more mandatory standardization process. As he points out the unintended consequence of (heavy handed) light touch regulation is a steady increase in spectral inefficiency. This degrades spectral value and increases the real cost (liability) of 'owning' (leasing) spectrum.
He also stresses the move "will decrease spectral efficiency at system level, increase handset costs and decrease handset performance."
Here, we publish an edited version of Varrall's note, following the EC decision .