FCC Considers AT&T LTE Spectrum Conversion, Sirius Interference Solved
September 27, 2012 1:33 PM
comment(s) - last by
A small carriers organization, though, is fighting to try to sway other commissioners to reject the deal
In an unusually cooperative spirit, telecommunications companies AT&T, Inc. (
) and Sirius XM Radio Inc. (
) found a way to iron out interference concerns regarding an AT&T spectrum repurposing plan. This has enabled the
U.S. Federal Communications Commission
to move towards a quick and easy approval.
I. A Quick Fix
Unlike some mobile spectrum plans, à la
bankrupt satellite LTE firm
, AT&T's plan involved applying spectrum that was designed for wireless operation. Namely, AT&T wanted to repurpose 20 MHz of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Services (WCS) band to
boost its LTE (4G) offerings
The issue was that despite being purpose-built for wireless communications, the high power of LTE communications meant that the neigboring band -- occupied
by Sirius XM's satellite radio service
-- would be interfered with whenever someone nearby was placing a call. In that way the plan shared a somewhat analogous roadblock to the LightSquared plan's
AT&T hopes to boost its LTE network next year with WCS spectrum.
[Image Source: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton]
But since the the spectrum was wireless-geared, AT&T was able to figure out a solution, which the two companies tested and verfied to work. AT&T's plan is actually remarkably simple -- it will divide the 20 MHz into four blocks ("A","B","C", and "D"), each with 5 MHz. The C and D blocks neighbor Sirius XM's offerings, so AT&T promised to not use them, essentially providing a buffer to prevent interference.
The pair found that the A and B blocks could then be used safely without significant intereference concerns.
The solution leaves AT&T with half its original spectrum in the band, but considering the deployment was stalled for 15 years, it's easy to see why that's a concession AT&T would be willing to make. After all, some spectrum is better than no spectrum.
II. FCC Commissioner Loves the Deal, but Small Carriers Complain
FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has plugged the compromise, with his office
Today’s action is part of Chairman Julius Genachowski’s continued efforts to remove regulatory barriers that limit the flexible use of spectrum, which is one way he has led the Commission towards helping address the continued ‘spectrum crunch.’ By unleashing 20 megahertz of spectrum now – and up to 30 megahertz in the future – the Chairman continues to leave no stone unturned when it comes to maximizing opportunities to refill the mobile spectrum pipeline that had begun to run dry over the last decade. In addition to removing regulatory barriers, the Commission continues to push ahead on innovative spectrum solutions in addition to traditional auctions, including incentive auctions, government-commercial sharing, technology-based opportunities like small cells, and freeing up unlicensed spectrum for innovations like Wi-Fi.
His office is suggesting approval, hence the repurposing will likely get the blessing of the U.S. regulatory agency.
FCC Commish Genachowski gave the repurposing compromise his thumbs up.
[Image Source: JD Lasica/Socialmedia.biz]
The only thing standing in the way is the
Competitive Carrier Association
(formerly the Rural Carrier Association), an advocacy representing smaller U.S. carriers. Its CEO and President Steve Barry alleges that after AT&T's prospective purchase of Deutsche Telekom AG (
) subsidiary T-Mobile USA
, AT&T turned to
dozens of WCS, AWS (advanced wireless services), and 700 MHz band spectrum licenses from smaller players.
Mr. Barry says approving AT&T's use of these licenses will create an anticompetitive market and limit consumer selection. He writes in
a press release
, "Allowing the largest carriers to obtain unlimited amounts of spectrum on the secondary market raises serious competitive concerns. The only way for the FCC to truly see the devastating consequences of further spectrum aggregation is by consolidating the proposed applications. On their own, AT&T’s proposed license acquisitions may not seem significant, but when added together, it totals to a significant amount of spectrum."
But for his attempt to sink the approval to be a success, he'll likely have to convince the remaining four commissioners, given Chairman Genachowski's support for the AT&T/Sirius XM compromise.
Competitive Carrier Assoc.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Is this an optimal solution?
9/28/2012 2:13:05 PM
broadcasting at 1000mW more power.
I think that right there is part of the rub. While XM does have land based repeaters, it is Satellite radio, so the receive power is very low. They're also refer to it as being a problem when a phone user is standing near an XM receiver.
You also have to consider this is a very different frequency - radio stations sit around 70-100MHz. The bands ATT and XM are using are up around 2300MHz.
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
Game Over: LightSquared Goes Bankrupt
May 14, 2012, 7:44 PM
Bribes and LTE: the Bizarre Case of LightSquared, Obama, and the USAF
January 24, 2012, 1:25 PM
FCC Tosses AT&T Conciliatory Approval of Qualcomm Spectrum Purchase
December 23, 2011, 10:00 AM
AT&T Tucks Its Tail Between Its Legs, Abandons T-Mobile Acquisition
December 19, 2011, 4:50 PM
LightSquared Wireless Service Signals Interrupt 75 Percent of GPS Receivers
December 12, 2011, 1:00 PM
Apple Completes Purchase of Beats Music, Beats Electronics
August 1, 2014, 11:26 AM
HP to Launch Smartwatch Designed by Michael Bastian
August 1, 2014, 9:59 AM
New Qi Version 1.2 Allows Wireless Charging From 2 Inches Away
July 31, 2014, 3:53 PM
HTC J Butterfly Announced by Japan's KDDI, Packs LTE-A Carrier Aggregation
July 31, 2014, 2:34 PM
T-Mobile Subscriber Numbers Surpass 50 Million, Sees Q2 Profit of $391M
July 31, 2014, 12:24 PM
Verizon Wireless Launches 5.7", 960x540 LG G Vista Smartphone for $400 Off Contract
July 31, 2014, 11:02 AM
Most Popular Articles
Facebook Will Force Android, iOS Users to Use Messenger App This Week
July 29, 2014, 11:26 AM
Ford's Extensive Use of Aluminum in '15 F-150 Results in $395 Increase for Base Models
July 28, 2014, 3:02 PM
Sony's Xperia Z3 Gets Detailed in Leaked Photos
July 25, 2014, 2:30 PM
T-Mobile CEO John Legere is on the Warpath Again; Introduces $100, 10GB Family Plan
July 28, 2014, 10:12 AM
UK Drivers Must Now Give Their Cell Phones to Police After a Crash
July 29, 2014, 4:37 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information