We support and appreciate the initial efforts the FCC and NTIA have made to allocate the 500 MHz of spectrum called for by President Obama and the National Broadband Plan. With the looming spectrum crisis that’s threatening to halt the growth and innovation in our industry, we continue to urge the Commission to bring the spectrum bands best suited for mobile broadband to market soon.
In our comments to the FCC on how to promote wireless broadband deployment in the spectrum bands identified by NTIA we emphasized:
- The 1755-1780 MHz and 1780-1850 MHz bands are ideal for mobile broadband and their deployment should be made a high priority;
- Other bands below 3 GHz should be examined for their suitability for mobile broadband services; and
- Spectrum above 3 GHz may be useful for wireless services in the future but are not well suited for mobile broadband deployment at this time.
The most logical and promising spectrum band for reallocation is the 1755-1780 MHz band. Most importantly, it is the band that has been identified by the International Telecommunications Union for commercial wireless use. Its selection would promote international spectrum harmonization and offer the advantages of economies of scale with respect to equipment development. The 1755-1780 MHz band is also adjacent to the AWS-1 band and contains many of the same federal users that were formally utilizing AWS-1 spectrum. That’s important because CTIA and our members maintain strong relationships with these users, which would simplify a transition from federal to commercial use.
We agree with the NTIA’s assessment that the spectrum between 1780 and 1850 should be a high priority for to study its suitability for mobile broadband. This band shares many characteristics with the 1755-1780 MHz band that are highly sought for mobile broadband spectrum. Other bands, such as 1695-1710 MHz, share some of these characteristics but also contain certain drawbacks and should be studied further in a formal rulemaking proceeding.
We are pleased that concrete steps are being taken to bring additional spectrum to market. As FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski stated at the White House Forum on Spectrum, mobile broadband presents the “opportunity to spur economic growth, create jobs, enhance our global competitiveness and improve our quality of life.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.