Feature Article

October 05, 2012

FCC Hopes to Clear 300 MHz for LTE by 2015

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski says the FCC is “on track to exceed our first benchmark of freeing up 300 MHz of spectrum by 2015.”

Among the actions being taken is an auction 75 MHz of licensed Advanced Wireless Service spectrum for 4G service by 2015. This includes an auction of shared rights to the 1755 to 1780 MHz band, which could be paired with the 2155 MHz to 2180 MHz band already in inventory to extend the AWS band by 50 MHz.

The FCC expects to hold the first of these auctions (of the AWS-2 H-block) in 2013, the FCC says.

Image via Shutterstock

Also, the agency is changing rules for use of about 70 MHz of spectrum, including 40 megahertz of mobile satellite spectrum that is expected to be re-purposed for land- based mobile use.

The Commission also is going to allow 30 megahertz in the Wireless Communications Service band to be used for LTE service as well.

The FCC also is working to repurpose mobile satellite spectrum in the L- and BIG LEO bands for terrestrial service.

Perhaps the biggest initiative is clearing portions of the broadcast television band (600 MHz), with auctions expected in 2014.

There are also significant opportunities to clear and reallocate underutilized government spectrum for commercial use, Genachowski said.

The FCC also is looking at spectrum sharing, allowing unlicensed devices to access valuable unused spectrum in between broadcast TV channels – known as “white spaces.”

That is expected to yield “at least several 6 MHz channels in most of major markets and more than 100 megahertz in many parts of the country,” the FCC chief believes.

Whether one believes there is, or not a "spectrum crunch" coming, the FCC plans to make more spectrum available. 

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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