Who owns the wireless spectrum in the United States?

According to published reports two big auctions of wireless spectrum are scheduled for November 2014 and another in 2016. Four major players dominate the wireless market in the United States. Verizon Wireless is the largest with 106 million subscribers followed by AT&T with 86 million, Sprint with 45 million and T-Mobile with almost 41 million subscribers. There are many other much smaller carriers who are struggling to survive too. Demand for spectrum comes from not just cell phones, tablets and other devices do share services. 3G and 4G mobile services as well as Internet services are putting pressure for wireless broadband. At the November 2014 auction, other players such as Dish are expected to compete for spectrum.

Currently Sprint has the highest share of the spectrum among four players. However, their ownership of 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz requires building more towers and they have yet to develop most of it. They have already announced that they are going to sit out of the upcoming spectrum auction in November 2014. Other three players own lower frequency spectrums that comparatively require fewer infrastructures, more specifically less towers. The planned 2016 wireless spectrum auction expected to carry more desirable spectrum.

Is Targeting Discriminatory?

The mechanisms that marketers use have some controversial implications for users. The collection of data for the purposes of marketing has always been a practice under some scrutiny, but the Web presents new opportunities to track interactions that were not possible before. Discrimination isn’t just a matter of data collection, it’s also the improper targeting of display advertising. Both what customers see, and what they don’t see. If you’re careful, you can get around these challenges with thoughtful messaging and finely tuned targets.

Unintentional Consequences

Targeting has the wonderful benefit of putting you in touch with your audience. It hopefully increases your audience’s chances of engaging with an ad they find interesting, or at least one they are open to hearing. Where advertising fails, and becomes borderline problematic, is when that targeting is overzealous. When someone gets engaged on Facebook, it’s almost a running gag how quickly they begin seeing ads for wedding related services. The opportunity is obvious, but what’s not always apparent is the user experience. Paying close attention to what happens to the user is extremely important.

Exclusionary Targeting

What about the assumptions we make based off of the data we accumulate? Targeting based on demographic is a great way to cut costs, but it also excludes people that may or may not want to see your ads. Plus, when we exclude targets we also cut our traffic volume significantly. Quite literally, too many cuts will stall your campaigns.

Testing is the only method to get around this form of exclusionary targeting, to get at the meat of your audience.


The key takeaway is to break free of your bubble. Pay close attention to what your customers are actually doing, not just in Analytics. Review your landing pages, click on things, and actually look at what people see when they visit your banner advertising. The more conscious you are of their experience, the higher your chances of avoiding unsuccessful ad campaigns.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the co-founder and CEO of engage:BDR. Through direct marketing on mobile and desktop, Ted Dhanik has helped businesses reach new market segments. Ted Dhanik offers advice through his blog, or at engage:BDR.