In our highly-connected world, the need for mobile services has exploded. Around the globe people are demanding more types of services using mobile technologies to gain flexibility of use. This increased demand for mobile services translates into increased demand for its most fundamental input: spectrum. Optimisation and verification then becomes necessary for regulators and mobile operators to actively manage networks, so as to maximise spectrum efficiency.

Optimisation techniques such as spectrum repacking will increase in importance in relation to exploring how different services can coexist in terms of spectrum requirements and geography. This scenario analysis enabled by spectrum optimisation can be equally adopted by regulators wishing to re-plan a given spectrum band or by operators looking at network planning and assuring optimal capacity.

The Smith Institute has recently been involved in successfully delivering the most complicated spectrum repacking exercise ever undertaken, the US Broadcast Incentive Auction. We worked for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to verify all of the bidding algorithms, optimisation models and constraint generation upon which the implementation of the Broadcast Incentive Auction (BIA) was based. From our experience on the BIA, and in collaboration with GSMA, we produced a white paper on the technical considerations of spectrum repacking, which has been published as a paper entitled ‘Unlocking the value of spectrum using optimisation tools‘ in the Colorado Technology Law Journal (Volume 15, Issue 2).