News by Dan Seifert on Tuesday June 19, 2012.
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AT&T has submitted a proposal to the Federal Communications Commission asking for permission to use 2.3 GHz Wireless Communication Services (WCS) spectrum for 4G LTE service. AT&T already offers LTE service on the 700MHz band and will soon do so on the 1700MHz AWS frequency, as well.
The proposal submitted by AT&T was co-authored by Sirius XM satellite radio and supposedly offers a solution to allow 4G LTE service on the 2.3GHz band without interfering with satellite radio services. If the FCC approves the proposed usage changes for the WCS band, AT&T could use its 2.3GHz spectrum holdings to deploy LTE service to about 40 percent of the U.S.
The FCC already ruled back in 2010 that WCS spectrum could be used for mobile broadband services, but AT&T says that the existing rules do not allow for efficient use of the spectrum, which would be crucial for its LTE services.
If the proposal is approved, analysts estimate that it could take AT&T 3 to 5 years to make the WCS spectrum usable for LTE service, but the carrier has not publicly specified a timeline. AT&T did ask the FCC to extend the existing build-out requirements for WCS spectrum holders. As it stands now, WCS license owners must provide service to 40 percent of the license area's population within 42 months of obtaining the spectrum rights and 75 percent within 72 months.source: AT&T, via: Fierce Wireless
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.