T-Mobile Gets Green Light to Test Shared Spectrum Tech
Will Occupy Same Spectrum as Government Services
Last month the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology sent the Obama Administration a new report
(pdf) requesting that the President make even more airwaves available for wireless services -- and that those airwaves be shared. The report gave a few vague suggestions for these shared spectrum trials, which could involve semi-exclusive licenses where carriers could share airwaves with government services, or some kind of unlicensed approach not unlike white space broadband.
Now regulators say they're going to give T-Mobile the go-ahead to test shared spectrum technology
, which would allow them to deploy 4G wireless services on the 1755-1850 megahertz band alongside existing government users. While the technical specifics of how this trial will work remain nonexistent, the FCC expressed excitement at the possibilities the tests create:
"By granting the first authorization of testing in the 1755-1780 MHz band, the commission hopes to facilitate commercial mobile broadband services in that band, which would significantly benefit millions of U.S. wireless consumers and help drive the mobile innovation economy," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement.
Granted while upstarts like T-Mobile are eager to sign up for these trials, there's likely to be significant political opposition from AT&T and Verizon, who'd prefer to retain strict control over the spectrum they own. Both companies are claiming (bluffing, really) that the new model could "lower the value of the spectrum and discourage companies from bidding."