updated 11:54 pm EDT, Thu June 27, 2013
Freed spectrum lies close to Sprint PCS-occupied frequencies
Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a "Report and Order" that will increase the nation's supply of radio spectrum for flexible use services, including mobile broadband, by opening 10 megahertz of spectrum in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz (H Block) bands for commercial licensing.
Enabling 10 megahertz of spectrum to be used for mobile broadband furthers the Commission's efforts to ensure that the nation's wireless networks have the capacity and speed to keep pace with expansion and climbing demand for mobile services. The move is also a step towards meeting the FCC's obligation under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Spectrum Act) to license 65 megahertz, including the 10 megahertz in the H Block, by February 2015.
The "Report and Order" pairs the two bands that comprise the H Block, and establishes that the paired bands will be auctioned through a system of competitive bidding rather than a straight-out sale or government allocation. An auction is expected to commence by the end of 2013. No statement has been made on estimated funds to be generated.
The newly-available bandwidth is in close proximity to existing Sprint PCS frequencies. A new set of technical rules have been established by the FCC to help ensure that operations in the H Block do not cause harmful interference to PCS downlink operations, consistent with requirements of the Spectrum Act.