FCC Gives Final Approval for AT&T to Use WCS Spectrum
AT&T Suggests WCS LTE Could Be Running by 2015
The FCC has formally approved AT&T's plan
to use WCS spectrum to aid in their deployment of mobile (and potentially fixed residential) LTE services. The agency began circulating an order this week allowing AT&T a 20 MHz chunk of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz WCS to use for LTE. AT&T and Sirius XM had recently filed a proposal
(pdf) with the FCC suggesting a change to the rules governing WCS spectrum, with the intention of limiting any interference for XM radio.
In a blog post
, AT&T says they're aiming for a 2015 launch of the new network:
AT&T took real risks to develop this under-utilized band and is committed to devoting the resources necessary to unlock its full potential. We expect to commence deployment of LTE infrastructure in the band in as early as three years, allowing us to enhance our wireless broadband services. Our customers will also win, as additional spectrum capacity becomes available to support surging mobile Internet usage.
AT&T has been on a WCS acquisition spree -- recently acquiring NextWave for $600 million
, with additional WCS spectrum deals planned with Comcast and Horizon Wi-Com. In addition to more acquisitions, AT&T also needs to get approval from standards organizations to use WCS spectrum for LTE services (which should happen, but will take time).