FCC Moves Forward on 700MHz Interoperability
The Federal Communications Commission today approved changes today that will eventually lead to interoperability in the Lower 700MHz spectrum band. The order addresses interference concerns by modifying the technical terms governing the power used in the D and E Blocks. Further, the FCC believes Channel 51 will not disturb B and C Block, and wants to modify AT&T's existing B and C Block licenses to account for changes proposed by AT&T earlier this year. The FCC said, "The terms of the voluntary agreement serve the public interest by encouraging efficient use of spectrum and enabling consumers to enjoy the benefits of greater competition. The standards developed by several wireless providers, along with the Competitive Carriers Association, will also give consumers more choice in using their devices with large and small carriers alike and will promote widespread deployment of mobile broadband services, especially in rural areas." AT&T and Verizon Wireless operated their LTE 4G networks in the 700MHz spectrum band, as do several smaller carriers. The smaller network operators petitioned the FCC to create these interoperability changes so that their devices will work on their own networks, as well as those of their competitors. AT&T responded by saying, "We are pleased to see the FCC moving swiftly to address these interference issues consistent with the negotiated solution. The action the Commission takes today, under continued leadership by Chairwoman Clyburn, is a critical step to achieving 700Mhz interoperability that will in turn foster industry investment and deployment in the 700MHz band to the benefit of U.S. wireless consumers."