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Post 2019 Global Summit Blog

Summit Draws Worldwide Spectrum Experts

Two weeks ago, the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance convened its seventh annual Global Summit in Washington, DC with tech and telecom industry leaders and regulators from around the world. I was honored to preside over my first Summit as President of DSA and I am humbled and excited by the progress our members and policymakers are making worldwide to connect the next four billion people and build a next-generation network ecosystem.

Through panels and fireside chats, presenters covered cutting-edge airwaves issues from UHF bands to mmWaves and discussed about technologies like TV White Spaces, IoT, 5G and Wi-Fi 6. We hosted a TVWS workshop and a regulators-only workshop that drew policymakers committed to sharing their experiences and learning from the other participants about spectrum sharing and dynamic access to spectrum to make the most efficient use of their country’s airwaves. The final day of the event brought together speakers from the private sector, non-profit organizations and public sector to continue these conversations.

We couldn’t say it better than our panelists and speakers themselves, so please enjoy some of their remarks below and we look forward to seeing you next year!


On Unlicensed Spectrum

  • “We need more unlicensed spectrum and I’m working hard to make that happen.” – FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly
  • “72% of the traffic on your phone is going to be managed by unlicensed communications. So we really have to pay attention to unlicensed.” – Mary Brown, Director, Government Affairs, Cisco Systems
  • “Unlicensed spectrum is really the “water” for connectivity in a lot of upcoming markets.” – Dan Rabinovitsj, Vice President, Facebook


On 6 GHz

  • “We can push the envelope. I think there’s much more opportunity for unlicensed use in 6 GHz…and the concerns raised can be mitigated. My goal is to get to a conclusion as soon as possible.” – FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly
  • “Wi-Fi 6 is a ‘Ferrari’ running in this old spectrum. What we really want to do is get it out on the freeway of 6 GHz.” – Mary Brown, Director, Government Affairs, Cisco Systems
  • “Good technical conversations between proponents and incumbents are the right approach.” – Michael Ha, Chief, Policy and Rules Division, Office of Engineering and Technology, FCC
  • “This isn’t something that’s going to take a generation to build up; this is something we can put into productive use right away. We’re hopeful that you could have Wi-Fi 6 in 6 GHz in Europe before Christmas 2020… [And] we’re very, very hopeful that the FCC could also reach a point where we could see Wi-Fi 6 in 6 GHz deployed in 2020.” – Chris Szymanski, Director, Product Marketing & Government Affairs, Broadcom
  • “What you’re going to see is a whole ecosystem of devices that are built around high throughput, low latency, and we think that that’s going to happen with 6 GHz… You’re going to have an even higher level of reliability that people will depend on to provide various real-time services” – Chris Szymanski, Director, Product Marketing & Government Affairs, Broadcom



  • “CBRS success is the result of unprecedented collaboration between all of these government entities, industries and standards bodies.” – Dave Wright, Director, Regulatory Affairs & Network Standards, Ruckus Networks


On C-Band

  • “To say that this is the most complex spectrum topic we’ve ever seen is an understatement.” – Jaime Fink, VP of Technology, Fixed Wireless at Airspan Networks CTO & Co-Founder, Mimosa Networks
  • On splitting the band (rather than clearing it): “It’s a win-win-win.” – Jaime Fink, VP of Technology, Fixed Wireless at Airspan Networks CTO & Co-Founder, Mimosa Networks
  • “This 500 MHz is grossly underutilized. There are 1,500 earth stations; this may sound like a lot, but this means that more than 90% of the spectrum capacity in the band is fallow.” – Michael Calabrese, Director, Wireless Future Project, New America
  • “These are four foreign-owned satellite companies that want to make money on spectrum that they never paid for. There should be a public auction.” – Michael Calabrese, Director, Wireless Future Project, New America


On the Digital Divide

  • “It’s our job to make spectrum abundant for broadband. We need to connect the next four billion people, stimulate wireless innovation for next-generation broadband, and accelerate an inclusive digital economy.” – That was me!
  • “Connectivity allows women to have access to financial services, healthcare, education, jobs. It’s such a powerful tool and we have to focus on how to improve it. Every woman should have that opportunity.” – Heather Lanigan, Regional Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, USTDA
  • “Access that is not affordable, inclusive and safe is not access at all.” – Clara Barnett, Governance & Digital Inclusion Adviser, Emerging Policy, Innovation & Capability (EPIC), UK Department for International Development (DFID)

Encouraging worldwide collaboration at DSA Summit

Our annual Global Summit is fast approaching, and we are looking forward to welcoming industry representatives from around the world to participate in discussions surrounding spectrum sharing.

As of last week, the authorities and regulators that will attend the Global Summit in Washington D.C. will join us from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador Germany, Ghana, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Peru, South Korea, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the US!

Also joining us will be Mario Maniewicz from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Allan Ruiz from COMTELCA.

It is a core value of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance that worldwide collaboration and discussion is vital for the progression of the industry, especially when the goal is to bring broadband connectivity to those in the world’s most hard to reach locations.

By regularly coming together to explore use cases, successes and approaches, our objectives become much more attainable.

Global Summit Awards

As we have done in previous years, we will be presenting awards to individuals, spectrum regulators, companies, projects or universities who have demonstrated a commitment to spectrum sharing, connecting the unconnected and academic research in this area. The award categories are as follows:

  • Award for Innovation in Dynamic Spectrum Access Policies
  • Award for Increasing Digital Inclusion
  • Award for Internet of Things Innovation
  • Award for University Research on New Opportunities for Dynamic Spectrum Access
  • Award for University Initiative on New Opportunities for Dynamic Spectrum Access

There have been a lot of nominations this year and there are a number of strong candidates. We look forward to presenting the winners at the Global Summit at the end of this month and celebrating the ongoing hard work that is being undertaken with the ultimate goal of worldwide connectivity for everyone through the promotion of dynamic spectrum access.

We are ready to host a very exciting Global Summit in Washington D.C. With only a week to go, we invite you to not miss this exciting event that will look to the future of dynamic spectrum sharing.

DSA 2019 Global Summit

The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) will hold its Seventh Annual Global Summit in Washington D.C. on 27 June 2019, and this will be my first time attending a DSA Global Summit as its President. Continuing the work of the DSA around the rest of the year, the Global Summit will bring together people from across the industry to discuss and debate spectrum sharing methods and models, with a focus on the future and how dynamic spectrum sharing can be utilised effectively.

With representatives from across the industry, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), regulators, policy makers and academia, we have put together the DSA Global Summit agenda to explore new developments in the spectrum industry. It is an exciting time for spectrum sharing, with recent progress including the bidding for spectrum earmarked for 5G, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed rulemaking on the 6 GHz band, the Mid-band sharing opportunities with CBRS and beyond, the deployment of TV White Space (TVWS) technology and hybrid fix wireless networks for rural connectivity and the unlicensed possibilities at the milli-metre waves. Using these developments and use cases, speakers at the DSA Global Summit will explore future advances utilising dynamic spectrum methods and mechanisms, like databases.

The 2019 DSA Global Summit is in its seventh year, following many successful previous events. The 2018 DSA Global Summit brought together representatives from 22 different regulatory bodies around the world and had a particular focus on challenges that was facing shared spectrum at the time. The outcome of the 2018 event has shaped the way the DSA has approached shared spectrum developments throughout the past year and has allowed us to target specific areas for further work that will be explored in this year’s agenda.

Opening the Global Summit, speakers will join the first panel ‘6 GHz –Shared Spectrum to Enable Next Gen Wi-Fi and Other Technologies Leveraging Non-Exclusive Unlicensed Spectrum Access’. Following recent FCC rulings, the DSA has continued to show its support for the unlicensed use of the 6GHz band. As surmised in the DSA reply comments to these rulings, the 6 GHz band presents a golden opportunity to increase the use of the band, address increasing demand form unlicensed spectrum and protect incumbents.

Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) is an alternative technology supported by the DSA that is seeing a rise in popularity and discussion around the world. CBRS provides the opportunity to share the 3.5 GHz band, and it has recently been announced that a 5G-specific sharing standard is under development with 5G services planned to commence on the band in 2020. The panel ‘3.5-3.7 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) Roll-outs: Use Cases and Marketplace Opportunities’ will further delve into these discussions.

Beyond CBRS, there are many ways in which a three tier spectrum licensing framework can be utilised to protect incumbent services, provide the regulatory assurance necessary to attract investment in new technologies and applications and support innovation. Six industry experts will explore this spectrum sharing method on the panel ‘3.7 – 4.2 GHz – Application of Three Tier Spectrum Sharing Beyond CBRS’.

Many countries have taken the next step in the evolution of spectrum policy, through the license-exempt use of TVWS. On a panel dedicated to TVWS, speakers will explore the wide range of applications of TVWS that are particularly useful for providing internet access in rural locations, as these radio waves can travel further and are able to penetrate walls and other obstructions more easily.

The final panel of the DSA Global Summit will explore ‘The Use of Hybrid Fixed Wireless Networks to Close the Digital Divide in Unserved Communities’. The DSA continues to work hard to close the digital divide, primarily through engaging with regulators and government officials to promote and adopt suitable frameworks that will facilitate dynamic access to radio spectrum.

I am honoured to lead the DSA in their ongoing work towards dynamic spectrum access around the world. The DSA Global Summit is truly a platform for the industry to come together and collaborate to encourage progress and development, and the DSA is proud to be a host of this opportunity.

The DSA Global Summit full agenda and further details can be found here.

Spectrum sharing is a reality and an opportunity!

Following my appointment as DSA President at the beginning of May, this month has been about networking, meeting DSA members and getting to know the people who I will work with to achieve the DSA’s long-term goals of worldwide affordable connectivity.

Earlier this month, I attended Wi-Fi NOW USA and the FCBA Annual Seminar to discuss and debate dynamic spectrum management and the ways in which this can connect the unconnected around the world.

On the final day of Wi-Fi NOW USA, I joined Paul Garnett (Senior Director, Airband Initiative, Microsoft and Chairman of the DSA Board), Dudu Mkhwanazi (CEO, Project Isizwe) and Chris Marra (Product Manager, Facebook) for the Q&A panel ‘Building affordable connectivity with Wi-Fi & unlicensed radio – the road ahead’.

The Q&A panel prompted interesting discussions about what the industry can be doing to provide affordable connectivity around the world, especially for the 3.5 billion people who are still not connected to the internet. It was agreed that it is not only about connecting people, it is about all the opportunities that technology brings such as access to education, healthcare or improved agriculture.

The DSA is completely engaged to face this challenge and has already done so in the past, from hosting workshops in Ghana and Nigeria to promote TV White Space (TVWS), to providing a platform for the industry to come together, as we plan to do at the 2019 DSA Global Summit. All efforts to connect people are welcomed by the DSA, and dynamic access is an additional option to provide affordable access.

As an increasing amount of visionary companies – already shown by the DSA members Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon and many more – begin to employ unlicensed bands and Wi-Fi to deliver affordable connectivity around the world, it is important to maintain the discussion about how to continue this trend. The Wi-Fi NOW USA event highlighted to me that this industry is continuing to evolve and is always rising to and meeting new standards.

I also participated in the FCBA Annual Seminar, held in Hot Springs, Virginia. Speaking on the panel ‘Meet Me in the Mid-band: A Spectrum of Perspectives’, I joined David Don (Comcast), Claude Aiken (WISPA), Michele Farquhar (Hogan Lovells) in a great discussion moderated by Megan Stull (Google) and Erin Griffith (Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP).

The panel focused on different CBRS perspectives, the potential of the 3450 MHz – 3550 MHz band, the latest information about C-Band, new opportunities for Spectrum sharing at 5.9 GHz and Wi-Fi 6 at the 6 GHz band.

Both the Wi-Fi NOW USA event and FCBA Seminar were great opportunities to network with industry leaders and to meet some DSA members for the first time. Continued dynamic spectrum management is crucial for realizing worldwide affordable connectivity and the way to achieve this is by encouraging the industry as a whole to see spectrum sharing as an opportunity rather than a competition.

Registration for the DSA Global Summit is open now and the full agenda is available on the website: