FCC Greenlights AT&T's WCS Spectrum Plans
The Federal Communications Commission today unanimously voted in favor of AT&T's proposed use of the WCS spectrum band for its LTE network in the future. Earlier this year, AT&T requested that the FCC change some of the rules regarding the 2.3GHz Wireless Communications Services band of spectrum. AT&T wants to use the 2.3GHz band to supplement its 700MHz spectrum for its LTE 4G network. It has been purchasing up bits and pieces of 2.3GHz spectrum over the last few months. The issue at hand concerns how the spectrum is currently used. Sirius Radio operates on an adjacent spectrum band, and an LTE 4G network run in the 2.3GHz WCS band could disrupt Sirius' signal. AT&T and Sirius worked out a proposal earlier this year that would protect Sirius' signal by bordering it with a 10MHz channel buffer on either side of Sirius' spectrum. The approved proposal gives AT&T 20MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band. In a post published on its public policy blog, AT&T said, "We expect to commence deployment of LTE infrastructure in the [WCS] band in as early as three years, allowing us to enhance our wireless broadband services."