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Defense Department Outlines Spectrum Strategy

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 2:22pm
Andrew Berg

The Defense Department says its need for spectrum is growing too.

The Department of Defense (DoD) Thursday unveiled a spectrum plan that it says will aim to seek a balance between the need for consumer spectrum and the need for spectrum upon which to run the military's various communications systems. 

DoD Chief Information Officer, Teri Takai said in a statement that the "balanced decisions about relocating from or sharing spectrum," will require "time, funding and comparable spectrum." 

“Through the established goals and objectives of the EMS Strategy and our close work with the White House OSTP, the NTIA and industry partners, we are confident in our ability to meet the requirements set forth by the president while maintaining the needs of our nation’s military requirements,” Takai said. 

Takai is referencing the 2010 order by President Obama which requires 500 MHz of spectrum be made available for commercial use by 2020. 

The DoD has been criticized by some in the wireless industry for not moving quickly enough on vacating unused spectrum, but it says the military’s need for airwaves is growing right along with consumer demand. 

As part of its plan, the DoD says it will move to develop technologies that will more efficiently use the spectrum it does have, while also decreasing the possibility of interference with other operations. The DoD also said it will act to ensure it can more quickly review and respond to proposals and requests from regulators. 

In a statement, CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent, agreed with the DoD's conclusion that its systems must become more spectrally efficient, flexible and adaptable. 

"In fact, these are good goals for all federal users, and CTIA looks forward to engaging with the DoD, NTIA and the whole federal user community to see how the wireless industry can help them achieve their mission objectives,” Largent said. 

In July of 2013, the DoD agreed to clear some spectrum for commercial use. The Defense Department proposed shared access to the 2025 - 2110 MHz band and to make the 1755-1780 MHz band available for auction in the near-term, while protecting critical capabilities. 

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