Frontiers in Spectrum Sharing

Radios have always shared spectrum, whether in frequency, time, or geography. However, President Obama’s 2013 Presidential Memorandum to Federal government agencies brought new urgency to spectrum sharing “… as a means of dealing with the finite nature of the spectrum and the growing demands for spectrum among commercial and government users.” Subsequently, on October 25, 2018, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum to Federal agencies that included, among other things, the declaration that “The United States Government shall continue to look for additional opportunities to share spectrum among Federal and non-Federal entities.” More recently, in President Biden’s first budget proposal to Congress, he called for increased funding for NTIA, which would “support the development and deployment of broadband and 5G technologies by identifying innovative approaches to spectrum sharing.”

Over the eight years between 2013 and 2021, and even much earlier, advanced and more encompassing spectrum-sharing options have been researched, advocated, and even adopted, but demand for potentially conflicting radio operating rights continues to grow. Therefore, the time is ripe to map the frontiers of spectrum sharing: in novel settings like outer space, in wireless engineering, and in the ways that spectrum sharing could be encouraged and governed.

Conference Format

The event will be held fully online, with the option of on-site attendance to view the livestream, according to the agenda below. Keynote speeches and panel sessions will all be hosted virtually, but attendees will also have the option to gather at the Wolf Law building, home of Silicon Flatirons at University of Colorado Law School, to view the livestream and partake of the presentations and participate in networking – subject to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington will give one of the keynote speeches.
  • Additional details and speakers to be announced soon.

Panel Discussions

The first panel will focus on broad issues associated with spectrum management of space-based systems. It will include discussions of difficult topics such as balancing commercial and public uses of the spectrum resource in space, the pros and cons of repurposing spectrum for different uses, advanced techniques for spectrum sharing between and among various space services, and domestic and international governance issues.

The second panel will delve into the technical aspects of inter-service sharing in the terrestrial environment. It will include discussions of hard topics such as the promise and challenges of new (or newly emerging) technologies such as massive MIMO techniques, the benefits of improved radio propagation models, and improving the capabilities of receiving systems to deal with adjacent channel and band interference.

The third panel will concentrate on less quantifiable questions, explicitly considering governance and incentives for spectrum sharing. It will include discussions of tough topics such as valuing competing spectrum uses (including those that are challenging to monetize), incentivizing government and commercial users to share spectrum, and techniques for resolving coexistence conflicts efficiently and quickly.

In the conference’s closing session, the three panel moderators will reconvene to identify the conference’s highlights, conclusions, and themes. Students at Colorado Law will prepare an after-conference report that will be published in due course.


09/09/21 12:00pm - 12:45pm
Optional Pre-Conference Primer
  • Peter Tenhula — Presenter
    National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Retired
09/09/21 1:00pm - 1:05pm
Day One Welcome & Introduction
09/09/21 1:05pm - 1:30pm

09/09/21 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Sharing at the Final Frontier — Spectrum in Space
  • Scott Palo — Moderator
    Associate Director, SpectrumX
  • David Goldman — Panelist
    Director, Satellite Policy, SpaceX
  • Grace Koh — Panelist
    Vice President, Legislative Affairs, Nokia
  • Alexandre Vallet — Panelist
    Chief, Space Services Department, Radiocommunication Bureau, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • Ashley Vanderley — Panelist
    Program Director, National Science Foundation (NSF)
09/09/21 2:45pm - 3:00pm

09/09/21 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Frontiers in Coexistence Engineering
  • Nomi Bergman — Moderator
    President, Advance/Newhouse Investment Partnership
  • Jonathan Ashdown — Panelist
    Information Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory
  • John Chapin — Panelist
    Special Advisor for Spectrum, National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Petri Mähönen — Panelist
    Professor, Head of Institute, Institute for Networked Systems | RWTH Aachen University
  • To be announced — Panelist
09/09/21 4:15pm - 6:00pm

09/10/21 9:00am - 9:05am
Day Two Welcome & Introduction
09/10/21 9:05am - 9:30am

09/10/21 9:30am - 10:45am
Frontier Justice — Governance and Incentives for Spectrum Sharing
  • Ari Q. Fitzgerald — Moderator
    Partner, Washington, D.C., Hogan Lovells US LLP
  • Coleman Bazelon — Panelist
    Principal | Washington, The Brattle Group
  • Leonard Cali — Panelist
    Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy, AT&T
  • Vernita Harris — Panelist
    Director, Spectrum Policy and Programs, Department of Defense Chief Information Officer, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Peter Tenhula — Panelist
    National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Retired
09/10/21 10:45am - 11:30am
Moderators' Wrap Up
  • Keith Gremban — Moderator
    Senior Fellow, Silicon Flatirons
  • Nomi Bergman — Panelist
    President, Advance/Newhouse Investment Partnership
  • Ari Q. Fitzgerald — Panelist
    Partner, Washington, D.C., Hogan Lovells US LLP
  • Scott Palo — Panelist
    Associate Director, SpectrumX
  • David Redl — Panelist
    Founder and CEO, Salt Point Strategies LLC

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