Impact of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and spectrum allocation on cellular telephone technology
Glowacki, Jason P.
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From 1983, when the first cellular network was established, to 1992, the wireless industry grew by ten million customers. From 1993 to 2000, the wireless industry grew by 90 million customers. Today, there are more than 149 million U.S. wireless subscribers. The phenomenal growth of the wireless industry can be traced to several factors. These factors are improvements in cellular technology, expansion of that technology and the allocation of spectrum by the federal government. This thesis analyzes the correlation between the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the Act) and the rapid expansion of cellular technology that occurred after the Act became law. It also analyzes the impact of spectrum management and allocation on the evolution of cellular technology. To demonstrate how cellular technology has evolved over time, the history, standards, and generations of cellular technology will be reviewed. Research findings will be shown that validate the Act's impact on the expansion of cellular technology. Finally, the impact of spectrum management and allocation on the evolution of cellular technology in the United States, specifically in terms of implementation of third generation (3G) technology, will be shown by analyzing the policies of the government organizations responsible for managing the frequency spectrum.
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