The Cave report suggested that UK governmental organisations should become more effective in their use of the spectrum. Since optimal effectiveness is associated with the free market, it is no surprise that various agencies are investigating the option of contracting out the management of their spectrum holdings to embrace the markets and to escape the baggage of bureaucracy and the history of command and control. The recent consultations for the Ministry of Defence and Programme Making and Special Events (PSME) are fuelling this trend.
The term ‘band manager ‘has even passed into popular parlance; at least in the spectrum fraternity. But what does it mean? What tools are needed to do the job and what can future band managers expect from technology? The answer is quite a lot. Even though ideas on the meaning of band management are just forming, industry already has much of the technology ready in the wings.
Accept that there are two parts to band management: policy and the day job. Policy is a decision activity requiring data, KPIs and market projections on demand and supply. The day job needs all the tools from today but ported onto modern delivery platforms: propagation prediction, interaction of signals leading to interference, frequency assignment and the like. Policy is steeped in due diligence and tools for ‘what if’. If we accept the spectrum economy as an eventual reality, such tools are essential to the smooth running of both primary and secondary markets.
Take examples out of today’s spectrum franchising. JFMG have been a third party or contract spectrum manager for several years. As PMSE band manager it makes use of enterprise systems for access and records and ATDI components for engineering. The result is the perfect partnership: an economy underpinned by science. The certainty that everyone craves is secured. JFMG provides us one milestone in a development trajectory that marries modern computing and the web with sound spectrum management domain knowledge. Whilst web-savy may be a commodity, domain knowledge is something that is built from competence and experience. Domain knowledge provides the critical know-how that leads to clear competitive advantage in future spectrum management systems.
In the first instance, economies need audited data on the goods to be exchanged. That data needs to be held against some database schema. Some data may be abstracted to expose just enough information to form opinion on price. Then players need to visualise and analyse. Once an intention to consume is declared, the engineering springs to action declaring the possibilities and listing the constraints for proposed technological options. Then finally once the deal is done, the job of scanning and protecting the investment begins. For ATDI followers, you’ll be familiar with all of this: it is, after all, what we do today. Today’s technology will aid tomorrow and spectrum market makers need have no fear of lack of technology readiness in industry.