updated 03:25 pm EST, Mon November 19, 2007
FCC warns Sprint Nextel
The FCC is warning Sprint Nextel that parts of its network may be shut down if it does not address important safety concerns. According to reports, as many as 2,200 public safety organizations have long encountered problems with the carrier's network, which in some cases uses the exact same bands as safety radio systems. Prior to being absorbed in 2005, Nextel had agreed to fix the problem by giving up frequency bands or helping to modify radio systems; Sprint inherited this problem, but it is unlikely to meet an impending deadline, despite having spent over $1 billion on the project. The issue "has proved more difficult" than anticipated, the company claims.
Should the FCC follow through with its threat, users on Sprint-only service will be unaffected, but as many as 20 million Nextel and Boost Mobile customers may be unable to make calls. To avoid losing revenue Sprint Nextel has launched a last-ditch effort to finish rebanding, but it has also turned to the US Court of Appeals, which it hopes may stall any FCC action. [via Wireless Week]