Today, the wireless industry took a critical next step toward preparing the 1755-1780 MHz band for commercial operations and delivering a key building block in the nation’s efforts to retain its global mobile broadband leadership. T-Mobile, on behalf of CTIA and the wireless industry, took a leadership role in this effort by filing a request for special temporary authority with the Federal Communications Commission to test the deployment of commercial mobile broadband service in this critical band of spectrum, which has been identified for reallocation on a bipartisan basis by the Administration, Congress and the FCC. T-Mobile’s request recognizes that fully clearing spectrum should remain the end goal, but this band cannot be cleared from top to bottom with the wave of a wand. That’s why the wireless industry has “rolled up its sleeves.” This testing can provide valuable insight into the opportunities and challenges of operating commercial mobile broadband services in the 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands, even if a limited number of incumbent federal operations, in a defined number of geographic locations, remain in the band on a transitional basis.
CTIA and the wireless industry continue to believe that the end goal of the “search for 500 MHz” that the Administration and the FCC have rightly targeted should be fully cleared spectrum that enables the U.S. to achieve efficient and internationally harmonized spectrum allocations. Yet, in order to bring this spectrum to market more quickly, CTIA and its members recognize that some sharing, on a limited basis, may be necessary. Ideally, remaining federal systems will be limited in number and scope, and confined to a defined number of geographic locations. T-Mobile’s efforts will provide important data about how commercial operations and certain government systems can both make use of this spectrum on a transitional basis, helping to meet the needs of incumbent federal users and facilitate the enormous economic and public policy benefits of the commercial mobile ecosystem.
CTIA commends T-Mobile for its leadership in this process and looks forward to working with NTIA, the FCC and incumbent federal agencies to make this next phase a success.