Second Annual Spectrum Summit

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Watch the full event on YouTube

Is the U.S. becoming a spectrum island? 

The Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy hosted its 2nd Annual Spectrum Summit headlined by DigitalBridge CEO Marc Ganzi, Clete Johnson of CSIS and a panel featuring Roger Entner of Recon Analytics, Jennifer Fritzsche, Managing Director of Communications Services and Digital Infrastructure at Greenhill & Co., Peter Rysavy, President Rysavy Research and Ambassador David Gross, Partner at WileyRein.

Several speakers noted that the absence of a “pipeline” to feed more spectrum into the U.S. mobile sector might result in the U.S. becoming a “spectrum island.” Both Peter Rysavy and Roger Entner recalled the U.S. experience when Europe selected 900 MHz and 1900 MHz for their PCS services and the U.S. selected 850 MHz and 1850 MHz. They pointed out that although there was less discrepancy between the different bands selected for PCS back then, it caused incredible technical and pricing problems for the U.S. operators and consumers. Being even further away from where the rest of the world is for mid-band 5G spectrum will make matters that much worse for the U.S.

“We’d like a world where more spectrum is put out,” said Marc Ganzi, CEO of Digital Bridge, a main speaker at the summit. “It creates innovation, it allows our customers to buy more spectrum, it allows them to deploy new radio technology.”

Ganzi added that “in a converging world, in a software-defined world, where data centers and fiber and towers all work together,” the case can be made that spectrum essentially creates more infrastructure.

Clete Johnson emphasized that if China dominates the spectrum environment, it will be able to corral the resources so that its own technology companies dominate global networks. “If that happens, there are no technology bans, there are no ‘rip and replace’ programs, there are no weapons systems that can adequately defend U.S. and allied interests if that scenario plays out,” Johnson added. “So that’s why spectrum is so important.”


  • 9:30 am – Welcome/Overview
  • 9:45 am – Fireside Chat with Marc Ganzi, CEO, DigitalBridge, facilitated by Jennifer Fritzsche, Managing Director of Communications Services and Digital Infrastructure at Greenhill & Co.
  • 10:15 am – The Implications of 5G on National Security
    • Remarks by Clete Johnson, Partner, WBK and Fellow, CSIS
  • 10:30 am – Global Spectrum Policy and AllocationsUnderstanding the World Radio Conference
    • Remarks by Ambassador David Gross, Partner, WileyRein
  • 11:00 am – Panel Discussion U.S. Spectrum Policy on the Global Stage
    • Is the U.S. is fast becoming a spectrum island, and if so, what will this mean for national security, the U.S. economy and the pace of innovation across virtually every sector of the U.S. economy?
    • Ambassador David Gross, Partner, WileyRein
      Peter Rysavy, President, Rysavy Research
      Roger Entner, Founder, Recon Analytics
    • Moderated by Carolyn Brandon, Senior Industry and Innovation Fellow, Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy
  • 12:00 pm – Closing Remarks, John Mayo, Professor and Elsa Carlson McDonough Chair in Business Administration, and Executive Director of the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy