Dynamic Usage of Narrowband Spectrum

Ben FREYENS, Mark Loney, Tharaka Dissanayake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We examine the potential for expansion of the white space spectrum sharing model in the 400 MHz band. As opposed to UHF broadcast spectrum, which contains unassigned or idle segments known as white spaces, the 400 MHz band is characterised by intensive licence usage. However, productive spectrum usage does not guarantee allocative efficiency, which would require knowledge of the highest value service for each licence. 400 MHz frequencies are not priced on opportunity cost. It is therefore difficult to ascertain the economically efficient mix of services to deploy in the 400 MHz band. Drawing parallels with the high-economic value revealed and generated through the operations of unlicensed white space devices in UHF broadcast spectrum, we identify untapped 400 MHz spectrum capacity, which we refer to as narrowband spaces. Encouraging dynamic spectrum usage of narrowband spaces could, similarly to TV white space usage help realise the efficient allocation of the 400 MHz band. However, the narrowband nature of the 400 MHz licences and high licensing turnover imply a significantly different concept of dynamic spectrum access than that considered for TV Bands. The paper discusses regulatory implications and the type of services suited to exploit narrowband spaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-185
Number of pages13
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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