Representatives of the wireless industry fired back this week at charges, outlined in a letter delivered by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to members of Congress, that claims of a looming wireless spectrum shortage may be exaggerated as evidenced by the warehousing of spectrum by some wireless carriers. In a January 28 letter addressed to the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Commerce committees, NAB President Gordon Smith called attention to recent press reports that a member of the SpectrumCo coalition that won $2.38 billion worth of Advanced Wireless Services licenses in FCC Auction 66 “is engaged in warehousing of spectrum that could be deployed to help build out wireless Internet service to unserved markets.” Adding that the alleged hoarding of airwaves should not be permitted “if there truly is a ‘spectrum crisis,’” NAB—which opposes the proposed repacking of broadcast spectrum for wireless broadband use—urged the lawmakers to work toward the passage of spectrum inventory legislation “that identifies what companies and government agencies may be sitting on unused airwaves.” As Wireless Communications Association International President Fred Campbell called the NAB’s allegations “just plain wrong,” a spokesman for wireless association CTIA countered that “the volume of mobile broadband traffic is exploding” as shown by statistics putting subscribership to wireless high speed services at 100 million by December 2009, which is “more than four times the number as of yearend 2006.” Noting that his company paid “more than $10 billion simply for the rights for spectrum for our LTE wireless build,” AT&T senior executive vice president Jim Cicconi observed, “this can be contrasted with the broadcast spectrum at issue here, for which the broadcasters paid nothing and which, when used at all, serves only a sliver of the population.” As such, Cicconi quipped: “if NAB is truly committed to identifying those ‘sitting’ on unused or underused spectrum, they can start by looking in the mirror.”