The Wireless Association today released a report on its efforts to test spectrum channel sharing with a pair of Los Angeles television stations. CTIA claims to have proved the viablity of channel sharing through its experiment with Los Angeles television stations KLCS and KJLA.
In a statement, CTIA said that channel sharing is "feasible, and is a technically viable option for broadcasters with minimal impact for viewers." CTIA hopes the test will serve as a baseline assessment of channel sharing.
Among the findings from the report, CTIA concluded that it is technically possible to combine two high definition (HD) television streams onto a single channel. The report also found that one HD stream can be combined with multiple standard definition streams.
CTIA said that the results of the test could help better inform broadcasters considering participation in the upcoming incentive auctions.
CTIA President and CEO, Steve Largent, said in statement that he was encouraged by the results of the test, saying it could result in the freeing up of more spectrum for wireless carriers.
"With the facts demonstrating the successful benefits of channel sharing, we are hopeful broadcasters will review the testing and consider this option for participating in the FCC’s Incentive Auction," Largent said. "Freeing up spectrum through the Incentive Auction will, in turn, enable the wireless industry to purchase the spectrum so we may continue to meet user demands for Internet access anywhere, anytime."
FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, also championed the results of the test.
“By demonstrating the feasibility of combining multiple HD streams onto a single channel or combining one or two HD streams with several SD programs, the pilot project has made a compelling case for channel sharing," Wheeler said in a statement. "In business, it is very rare to be able to have your cake and eat it too. It is my hope that broadcasters closely study the channel sharing pilot project report as they consider the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity offered by the upcoming incentive auction.”
Spectrum sharing has long been talked about as an option for clearing more airwaves, however some, including members of the FCC, have been skeptical of just how effective the method could be.