updated 03:20 pm EDT, Wed July 2, 2008
T-Mobile Balks at AWS Plan
T-Mobile on Wednesday resisted moves by the US Federal Communications Commission to hasten its moves towards a free wireless broadband. The carrier has requested that the FCC delay an auction for its 2,100MHz Advanced Wireless Spectrum 3 (AWS-3) band by 90 days past its July 9th deadline to allow for a longer comment period and let T-Mobile air its potential problems with any future service; filling the AWS-3 band may create interference that prevents T-Mobile from using space it wants for its 3G service, according to a filing sent to the FCC.
If the 90-day extension for general comments isn't an option, at least 30 days should be set aside so T-Mobile can supply its own testing information. The carrier only just recently launched its 1,700MHz 3G service in the original AWS band earlier this year but believes that it may be affected by a 2,100MHz network that produces clashing signals.
T-Mobile potentially faces stiff opposition from much of the government, which has pushed to have the auction begin by August and has been anxious to deploy a high-speed network accessible by anyone. The current rules for the FCC auction would demand that at least 25 percent of any bandwidth won in the AWS-3 auction be set aside for free services, offer open access to hardware and software, and put in content filters to block pornography with an opt-out clause for users who want unrestricted access.