FCC Moves to Speed Small Cell Deployments
The Federal Communications Commission today announced new initiatives that it hopes will reduce the number of hurdles network operators have to jump in order to deploy small or temporary cells. Specifically, the FCC clarified a technical provision in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 concerning local review of requests to modify existing wireless towers or base stations. It also launched proceedings to help speed up carriers' temporary network additions, such as Cells On Wheels (COWs) and Cells On Light Trucks (COLTs), which are typically used temporarily in public spaces to provide additional coverage. Last, the FCC is going to explore whether or not the existing shot clock that municipalities use to evaluate new cell tower applications is sufficient. The FCC expects these initiatives to play out over the next few months.
AT&T Throwing 5G Tech at the Wall to See What Sticks
AT&T today said it plans to test a wide variety of potential 5G technologies throughout the year as it evolves from 4G LTE to next-generation mobile broadband. For example, the company intends to kick off field trials of AirGig later this year.
Court: FCC Allowed to Manage Tower Siting Process
An appeals court sided with the FCC recently in a decision that upholds the agency's authority to accelerate the process of gaining local approval for cell towers. The U.S.
AT&T No Longer Targeting 40,000 Small Cells This Year
AT&T recently dialed back language referring to its small cell deployments planned for 2015. The company said last year it would launch 40,000 small cells around the country to improve coverage and capacity by the end of 2015.
Sprint Pushing for Quicker Small Cell Site Approvals
Sprint has asked the FCC to help speed up the process for approving sites for small cells. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure and SVP of Government Affairs Vonya McCann met with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai last week to discuss the subject.
Qualcomm's Next Target Is Unlicensed LTE Over 5GHz
Qualcomm today announced its initial foray with LTE into the unlicensed 5GHz band, spectrum that is normally reserved for WiFi networks. Qualcomm believes LTE-U, or LTE in unlicensed spectrum, could help carriers fill in blank spots with small cells.