Rob Frieden, The evolving 5G case study in United States unilateral spectrum planning and policy,
Telecommunications Policy, Volume 44, Issue 9, 2020, 102011, ISSN 0308-5961,
This paper offers a critical rebuke to unilateral spectrum management, because the short-term benefits expected by the U. S. government likely will be offset by countervailing harms to 5G manufacturers, carriers and consumers. The paper tracks fractious preparation for the ITU’s 2019 World Radio Conference by the U.S. delegation and the mixed record achieved there. Additionally, the paper explains how injecting trade, industrial policy and national security issues at the ITU can trigger more delays and disputes, including possible retaliation by nations displeased with U.S. efforts to subvert traditional technology optimization goals.
A worst case scenario has the ITU deadlocked and unable to reach closure on “mission critical” spectrum planning issues at World Radio Conferences, convened every four years. The paper concludes that costs and likely challenges to the efficacy and legitimacy of the ITU will reduce the benefits accruing from the FCC’s unilateral, spectrum planning campaign.