Natural capital is defined as any stock or flow of energy and material that produces goods and services. Natural capital includes renewable and non-renewable resources. By definition that should also include the electromagnetic field surrounding the Earth that we refer to as spectrum. Spectrum is part of the capital mix that the investor, via the vehicle described as a wireless carrier, uses to produce wireless communications services.
Today’s announcement by Facebook that the world’s largest social network will make available an additional layer of application on Google’s Android phone doesn’t immediately jump out as a concern that the demand for spectrum is going to spike overnight, but for consumers that are addicted to Facebook, buying a $99 dollar HTC phone so that they can stay continuously connected to their friends on Facebook may result in a gradual increase in demand for spectrum over the immediate run, especially if more and more of Facebook’s one billion subscribers start using this super app.
This is the type of innovation that the people at the FCC have been taliing about for the last four years; an app eco-system that will demand more spectrum as businesses and consumers try out these modes for accessing e-commerce.