FCC Agrees to Review Spectrum Acquisition Rules
The Federal Communications Commission today formally agreed to review how It assesses how much spectrum wireless network operators can acquire and hold in any given market. The commission voted 5-0 in favor of making the changes, which should provide operators with more clarity about the limits. The FCC will weigh variables such as the specifics of the market, geography, spectrum bands in question and whether or not spectrum below 1GHz should be weighed differently. Some carriers and public advocacy groups sought the review, as the FCC has not revisited this topic in several years. The proposed rule changes will eventually be made available for public comment.
FCC Relaxes Rules Governing 800 MHz Spectrum
The FCC this week made it easier for carriers to add LTE to their 800 MHz spectrum holdings. Rules concerning the 800 MHz band (CDMA Band Class 0, LTE Band 5) have been in place since 1981 and limit how much power carriers can use to transmit wireless signals across those airwaves.
Wireless Companies Form Alliance to Pressure FCC
A handful of wireless companies and public policy groups have formed an alliance meant to pressure the FCC as it drafts rules for the upcoming 600MHz reverse spectrum auction. The alliance is called SaveWirelessChoice.com.
Sprint, T-Mobile Want FCC to Eye AT&T's Spectrum Spree
Sprint, T-Mobile, and others want the FCC to "carefully scrutinize" a number of AT&T's proposed low-band spectrum acquisitions. AT&T has asked the FCC for permission to purchase 700MHz spectrum from a range of small companies around the country.
FCC Finalizes 30MHz Reserve for 600MHz Auction
The FCC today formally rejected T-Mobile's bid to set aside more low-band spectrum for smaller carriers in next year's 600MHz auction. T-Mobile wanted to see a total of 40MHz of the valuable low-band airwaves set aside for carriers other than AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
FCC Commish Uses Sprint As Launch Point to Bash Auction
Following Sprint's decision to skip next year's 600MHz incentive auction, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai had harsh words for the FCC's plans. "Sprint's decision highlights the folly of the FCC's attempt to pick winners and losers before the auction begins," said Pai, in reference to the rules being assigned to the auction.