Report: Spectrum shortage looms in 2013 thanks to mobile broadband

The demand for mobile broadband will exceed spectrum available to support it by mid-2013, according to a new report from wireless analyst Peter Rysavy.

The report, sponsored by Research in Motion for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, details how the demand for bandwidth-consuming services used by more and more people will lead to a poor user experience or a change in pricing along with limitations on mobile applications.

Rysavy explains that the bandwidth required for mobile broadband services can reach up to 1 Mbps to 2 Mbps to stream HD YouTube videos. While operators operators hold 55 megahertz to 90 megahertz of spectrum, only some is dedicated to data services. Some providers indicated they are using up to half of their spectrum resources in densely populated markets.

RIM co-CEO Jim Basille called on vendors to begin building more efficient applications and services. "If we don't start conserving bandwidth, in the next few years we are going to run into a capacity crunch. You are already experiencing the capacity crunch in the United States," he told Reuters.

For more:
- read this GigaOm post
- see this ARS Technica article

Related articles:
FCC still considering paying broadcasters for spectrum
FCC scraps plan to take spectrum from broadcasters
FCC asks for more time on broadband plan
Justice Department urges FCC to free up more spectrum
CTIA, broadcasters intensify lobbying over spectrum