Launching WiMAX in Licensed-Exempt Environment
For a successful wireless broadband deployment, government is not going to be the only player. Allocating capital for these deployments is one piece of the puzzle. FCC needs to play its part to release extra spectrum for future deployments. Liberally licensed spectrum allocation has been growing in the past decade. However, its long bidding procedure contributes to increasing deployment cost and at the end, higher prices for end users. In order to expedite government efforts, FCC needs to come up with a clear strategy on how it is going to support these projects. Although releasing licensed based spectrum can be helpful for long term nationwide operation; for short term quick and cheap operations, license-exempt operations looks the only practical solution. The success of 2005 allocations of 50 MHz block at 3.65 GHz band is a good example of how this strategy can be successful. Under FCC part 90, licensees are required to register their base stations prior to deployment. This will reduce interference issues between different operators dramatically. After four years, vendors start to ship equipment from couple of months ago and network deployment is gaining momentum.
The other important issue is definition of desirable services and quality of service (QoS) requirements before planning and deployments. Government definitions for broadband stimulation packages are very general and do not define the specific services. If main target is individual and residential market, the requirement will be different compare to the case of business users. Business users need higher bit rate and better QoS compare to residential users. This translates into more channel bandwidth or more base stations deployment during deployment phase. Also, launching a business grade broadband over license-exempt spectrum needs different frequency panning considerations compare to residential market.