"US mobile networks currently have access to 538Mhz of radio spectrum -- with a further 300Mhz due to be made available -- but only 192Mhz is currently being used, according to an analyst note from Citi Investment Research & Analysis," from an article on Cellular News.
from Blough Turner's blog.
It kind of destroys (yet again) the argument of AT&T for buying T-Mobile. These carriers have the spectrum, which they have either NOT DEPLOYED or, as AT&T was polite as to tell Congress, have mismanaged what they have deployed.
Maybe concentrating all the spectrum into a few companies isn't the answer, especially for rural areas. Maybe the FCC should be taking back unused spectrum (like the auction terms stated) and re-sell them to add money to the broke USA. Anything but give the Big Cellcos more spectrum to hoarde.
AN ASIDE: And maybe we should let company's use spectrum that will interfere with other spectrum, like say GPS or wireless microphones. #justsaying
The Citi study isn't available online any more, but I have a copy if you want it. email me.