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While this article follows many others where concern is expressed over the cost of 3G spectrum, I believe it goes a little too far and misleads readers.

The current spectrum auction going on in the US in not for 3G spectrum as stated. The US is still trying to figure out how to make room for 3G (UMTS allocations) spectrum which they initially tried to float in the 700MHz band. This is a tricky area because acronyms are thrown around a lot. For instance, to most Europeans, 3G = UMTS and nothing else. Here in the states, you'll find people calling 1xRTT CDMA 3G and all sorts of other things.

I don't want to argue about which way it really is, but my point is that the spectrum auctions in the US are not in the same class as the UMTS auctions that have occurred elsewhere. The licenses are regional and came out from the failure of Nextwave to pay up when they originally acquired them. Most carriers are buying this spectrum to build out current, 2G networks.

It is true that carriers are capable of offering 3G-like services in these bands in the future, but don't give 3G a bad rap just because the PCS spectrum is expensive.


PS. Tom - I think you do great work and don't mean this as a personal jab - I simply have some different perspectives in this area that I'd like to voice.
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