Will Congress Listen to Apple & Co.?

A group of technology companies, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung, Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), have written a letter to Congressional leaders to ask for additional spectrum dedicated to smartphones and tablets.

“Authorizing new spectrum auctions [to wireless carriers] is timely and relevant,” the group said in the letter, according to The Hill, making a reference to the impending fiscal cliff — an economic step that will automatically come into effect in the U.S. at the end of December 31 and initiate spending cuts and tax increases.

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“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,” the letter said, adding that Congress should “become more efficient” and share, vacate, or lease the assets to telecom companies. “As technology companies, we joined this debate because policymakers need to know that we cannot simply engineer our way out of this problem,” the letter added.

Although the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is working to enable the auctioning of TV station airwaves to wireless operators, that will not be enough to meet the booming demand for mobile data, the companies said.

The letter was signed by the High Tech Spectrum Coalition, which includes Apple, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), Intel, Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), RIM, and Samsung.

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