Optimizing the use of airwaves and wireless communications channels is critical both for global economic prosperity as well as national security, but that optimization requires sharing, an increasingly challenging proposition as populations shun globalization.
This anti-globalization trend is driven by increased populism in countries across the world and is a natural consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down international travel and gummed up global supply chain networks, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) legislative affairs vice president Grace Koh said Thursday that during a keynote address at the Silicon Flatirons Frontiers in Spectrum Sharing conference.
Silicon Flatirons is a Boulder-based group that fosters conversations among entrepreneurs, legal professionals, students and lawmakers.
The two-day conference this week in Boulder brings together aerospace industry representatives, government officials and academics to discuss opportunities for spectrum sharing as economies across the globe continuously deploy new broadband and 5G technologies, all of which eat into the finite spectrum of airwave and wireless communications bandwidth.
“Spectrum sharing is a way to optimize the use of the airwaves, or wireless communications channels, by enabling multiple categories of users to safely share the same frequency bands,” according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a federal research laboratory with operations in Boulder and Gaithersburg, Maryland. Spectrum sharing is necessary because growing demand is crowding the airwaves.”
According to Koh, “much of this populist sentiment appears to be due to globalization shocks” and “the pandemic sealed the deal.”
The rise of China as a global economic and military power over the past several decades is emblematic of the rise of globalization and anti-China sentiment in the United States and Europe is mostly a reaction to that rise.
While protectionism might be the natural reaction to the current geopolitical and economic environment, that response is counterintuitive to spectrum sharing because “spectrum floats across borders” and across boundaries between governments and industry, Koh said.
This reality makes events like the Silicon Flatirons Frontiers in Spectrum Sharing conference so critical, she said, because they bring together stakeholders from a diverse range of perspectives.
This collaboration will be necessary to stem the tide of populism, at least as it relates to spectrum sharing, Koh said.
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