CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker wants the FCC to take further steps to reform the wireless cell siting process to speed up the deployment of network infrastructure.
Gov. Jerry Brown of California (D-Calif.) signed into law a bill that requires smartphones sold in California to have "kill switch" technology that consumers could use to remotely deactivate phones and render stolen devices useless to thieves. The feature will be required on all smartphones sold in California starting in July 2015.
The new head of the CTIA said that unlicensed spectrum is an important element of spectrum policy, though she reiterated her organization's quest for additional licensed spectrum below 3 GHz. Meredith Attwell Baker, who recently took over command of the CTIA from former president Steve Largent, pointed to a recent study from the Consumer Electronic Association that found that unlicensed spectrum generates $62 billion annually for the U.S. economy.
WASHINGTON—CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker wants to create a spectrum "report card" that would assess how efficiently government agencies are using their spectrum. That's one piece of a broader agenda she has for getting more airwaves for mobile broadband use beyond this fall's coming auction of AWS-3 spectrum and next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum.
As the FCC continues to stream a flood of comments on its net neutrality proposal, one aspect that will likely get more attention than it did in 2010 when the commission last tried to craft rules on the issue is whether wireless networks should be put on equal footing with wired ones.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he will soon introduce legislation to reallocate up to 200 MHz of spectrum held by the government for commercial wireless use, establish a new spectrum auctions starting in 2018, and make it easier for federal agencies to relinquish their airwaves.
The CTIA said that Meredith Attwell Baker, a current NBCUniversal executive and former Republican commissioner at the FCC, will replace Steve Largent as president and CEO of the wireless trade group, effective June 2. Baker will become the first woman to be president of CTIA. Largent, 59, announced his retirement last October and has served as president since 2003.
The nation's largest wireless carriers and device makers banded together to support voluntary anti-theft measures for smartphones released starting next year. The action comes amid mounting efforts by state lawmaker to mandate so-called "kill switches" in smartphones and tablets that would render the devices useless if stolen.
The CTIA and two TV stations in Los Angeles finished a pilot to test whether stations can share the same broadcast spectrum and concluded that it is technically possible. The tests were designed to show other broadcast stations that channel sharing can be an alternative for stations that want to give up their spectrum as part of next year's FCC incentive auctions of 600 MHz broadcast spectrum.
Lawmakers in California are proposing legislation that would require wireless carriers install a so-called "kill switch" in smartphone and tablets sold in the state that would render the devices useless if stolen. If passed and signed into law, the bill would require phones and tablets sold in California on or after Jan. 1, 2015, to include the antitheft solution.