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Can the FCC Convert Satellite Spectrum into Wireless Competition?

Last year’s National Broadband Plan promised to unlock 500 MHz more spectrum to meet the exploding consumer demand for mobile data applications. Aside from the TV band, the largest source of new spectrum is held by Mobile Satellite (MSS) companies seeking the flexibility to compete with the large mobile carriers. Last year a new company called LightSquared received conditional FCC authority to use previously restricted MSS spectrum to build out an open wholesale-only wireless network covering at least 260 million Americans by 2015.

While the potential consumer benefits of a first-ever wholesale wireless network are large, so is the controversy around whether the FCC’s policy will really add meaningfully to competition in an industry consumer advocates and regional carriers say is rapidly trending toward duopoly. Can a wholesale MSS network make connectivity a commodity for a growing diversity of uses, or will it lack the capital and customers to survive against the dominant carriers?

Please join us for this luncheon, keynoted by LightSquared CEO and wireless pioneer Sanjiv Ahuja, followed by a discussion panel featuring leading experts and industry stakeholders.

Lunch will be provided.

Agenda

Keynote Speaker
Sanjiv Ahuja
Chairman and CEO, LightSquared

Closing Remarks
Reed Hundt
Former Chairman, FCC and Principal, REH Advisors LLP 

Panelists
Parul Desai
Communications Policy Counsel
Consumers Union

Neeta Bidwai
Senior Policy Advisor to Sen. Mark Warner  

Bill Ingram
Senior Vice President Strategy
Cricket/Leap

Larry Krevor
Vice President Government Affairs
Sprint Nextel

Michael Calabrese

Senior Research Fellow and Director, Wireless Future Project
New America Foundation

Moderator
Sascha Meinrath
Director, Open Technology Initiative
New America Foundation

Event Time and Location

Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 12:00pm - 1:45pm
National Press Club, Holeman Lounge
529 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20045

Event Materials