A new report from Maravedis, a Montreal-based telecom market research and analysis firm, suggests that once broadcasters vacate the 700 MHz band, innovative services will be deployed. The following is an edited version of the executive summary of the USA and Canada 700 MHz Regulatory and Market Analysis.  The 700 MHz band includes the UHF TV channels 52 through 69 (698 MHz – 806 MHz). As a result of the 1996 amendments to the Communications Act, this band was re-allocated for use by other communications services including public safety and public commercial use.  Although development of public safety in the 700 MHz band began in 1997, few systems have actually be deployed due to concerns with interference from incumbent broadcasters.  In accordance with the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, public use of the 700 MHz band was required to be auctioned. At the onset of this process, the FCC announced that commercial licensees in this band would be permitted to provide fixed, mobile and broadcasting services.  Suggested uses of the 700 MHz commercial spectrum included mobile and new digital broadcast operations, fixed and mobile wireless broadband services as well as fixed and mobile wireless uses for private internal radio needs. Commencing in 2002, followed by a second auction in May/June 2003, 735 licences were awarded in these auctions, raising more than US$144 million.  Two companies, Aloha Partners and Qualcomm, have emerged as the major licence holders and are currently development businesses utilizing their 700 MHz spectrum. Aloha Partners intends to provide fixed and mobile wireless broadband Internet access services but the company is still undecided about what technology to deploy.  Qualcomm plans to market a mobile video service under the MediaFLO brand to cellular and PCS operators. MediaFLO will support real-time video streaming as well as Clip Casting to mobile handsets.  In Canada, a similar regulatory process has been underway for almost a year, beginning with public safety systems that will be closely harmonized with those in the U.S. Over the next year or so, Industry Canada is expected to follow the U.S. in developing commercial operations in the 700 MHz.  What makes 700 MHz spectrum exceptionally attractive for wireless broadband operators is the cost dynamics of system deployments: the lower the frequency of operation, the farther the signals propagate and penetrate through trees and buildings and bend around obstacles. This has a dramatic impact on the cost of deployments compared to systems at higher frequencies.  As a rule, a doubling of frequency at which a wireless system operates, equates to a doubling of the deployment costs and at least a doubling of cell sites or halving of each cell’s coverage area...All else being equal, lower frequencies provide a competitive advantage compared to spectrum at higher frequencies. Digital video broadcast and mobile broadband services can be made cost effective despite relatively narrow spectrum bands.  The 700 MHz spectrum is increasingly being developed for use of OFDM-based technologies: Qualcomm has shifted from use of CDMA to OFDM as the core technology in MediaFLO. Similarly, Airspan, Intel and other companies are pursuing development of systems based on OFDM/WIMAX.  Migration of TV broadcasters away from the spectrum and licensing of vacated spectrum could become the decisive factor in how quickly and extensively development unfolds.