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Better Use of Spectrum Could Help Trucking

March 13, 2000

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Should trucking care about the Federal Communications Commission's new big plan?
The FCC wants to allow holders of radio spectrum to resell their access to others in an open marketplace. The commission reasons that will allow more efficient use of available spectrum while making access available to parties who would other wise be left out. For example, someone operating on a frequency only part of the day could sell the use of that spectrum at other times. Also, unused slivers of licensed spectrum could be bought/leased by others.
Trucking has a big stake in this major policy shift because our industry increasingly depends on wireless technologies. New services in the works will require available frequency spectrum and some of those new services will appeal to smaller fleets, further spreading influence of wireless technology.
Take the current rush to connect mobile telephones and other handheld devices directly to the Internet. Relatively low-cost gizmos like these will bring sophisticated, but inexpensive, off-the-shelf communications and business systems within reach of small fleets that now work by phone and fax.

Lately, every technology editor's in-box is crowded with trail-blazing announcements involving the Wireless Application Protocol, or WAP, a standard to allow small, handheld devices to access content on the web. For example, the web site of MyWeb2PCS.com of San Jose, CA, offers help making your web site accessible on small device screens. You can even download software to simulate a handheld device on your computer screen.
All of this -- mobile Internet access and the availability of spectrum to more companies, points to a day when almost every driver will carry a hand-held device that instantly confirms delivery, pickup, stock numbers, truck and trailer numbers, et. al. No carrier will be too small to offer such services and you can bet every shipper will demand nothing less.

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