Apple, Samsung, RIM push Congress for more airwaves

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The companies said that "authorizing new spectrum auctions is timely and relevant" to the debate over the "fiscal cliff" of automatic spending cuts and tax increases.

The companies urged the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate technology committees to look into auctioning some of the spectrum currently used by federal agencies.

"Now is the time to ensure the incentive auctions are as robust and successful as possible at liberating spectrum. We should also turn our collective attention on ways to reap the economic benefits of underutilized federal spectrum assets," they wrote.

They said Congress should incentivize federal users to "become more efficient, to share with one another, to vacate, or to lease their spectrum."

The companies said that new spectrum-efficient technologies will not be enough to meet the booming demand for mobile data.

"As technology companies, we joined this debate because policymakers need to know that we cannot simply engineer our way out of this problem," they wrote.