Changing spectrum policy is often seen as a matter of convincing regulators to adopt more modern ideas. In one sense this is true, but the power of the technological and market forces pushing towards a more liberalised approach is often ignored. As three leading experts, Cave, Doyle and Webb (2007), argued recently: "a command and control approach is becoming more difficult to manage as an ever expanding range of applications appears ..•Now the World Radio Conference has ended, it is worth recounting how powerfully these forces have made their presence felt. The key battleground in WRC-07 was agenda item 1.4: meeting the spectrum needs for the future development of mobile systems, and this has proved a major force in encouraging a more flexible approach to spectrum management.
In October and November 2007 five thousand experts attended an international conference, held every four years, which co-ordinates the global use of the airwaves for everything from cell phones and TVs to garage door openers. The World Radio Conference agreed a massive extension in the spectrum for mobiles, hammering another nail in the coffin of the traditional 'command and control' approach to spectrum management.
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