FCC Sets Rules for AWS-H Block Spectrum Auction
The Federal Communications Commission today officially filed a proposal to auction off a 10Mhz slice of spectrum known as the AWS-H block. This block of spectrum adjoins the PCS band and is being freed up in part to help make more wireless broadband available to Americans. The H block falls in the 1915-1920MHz (uplink) and 1995-2000MHz (downlink) bands. It resides next to the PCS G block, which is used to Sprint. Officially, this notice of proposed rule making is a "first step in implementing" the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, which was passed earlier this year. Winners of the spectrum auction will need to offer cellular service to 40% of the coverage area within four years, and 70% within 10 years. Licensees will be allowed to segregate and license the spectrum on their own, but will have to work with Sprint to ensure there is no interference with Sprint's neighboring network. The FCC hopes to hold the auction next year.
3GPP Approves Band 66 for AWS Support
Dish Networks today said the 3GPP has approved the designation of Band 66, which encompasses a significant swath of AWS spectrum owned by Dish. Specifically, Band 66 pairs 70 MHz of uplink spectrum with 90 MHz of downlink spectrum in the AWS-1, AWS-3, and AWS-4 bands.
FCC Hands Out More AWS-3 Licenses to Auction Winners
The FCC has delivered more licenses to winners of the AWS-3 spectrum auction, which concluded earlier this year. The bulk of licenses granted this week were given to Orion Wireless LLC and Geneseo Communications Services, and cover areas of Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
T-Mobile Prepared to Buy Lots of 600MHz Spectrum
T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter said the Uncarrier is making plans to participate in next year's incentive auction and it will be on the hunt for low-band spectrum. Carter indicated the company has as much as $10 billion to spend on spectrum, though it expects to spend much less than that to get what it needs to expand coverage.
AT&T Seeking 20MHz Block of 600MHz Spectrum
AT&T is making plans to participate in next year's incentive auction, according to CFO John Stephens. "Spectrum is a scare asset, and so we would expect to participate," said Stephens, speaking at technology conference.
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.