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T-Mobile Gets Green Light to Test Shared Spectrum Tech
Will Occupy Same Spectrum as Government Services
by Karl Bode 10:52AM Friday Aug 24 2012
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.

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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."

topics flat nest 

Always the green wire

Mount Juliet, TN

Should never have been "Sold" - and they weren't

"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."

The truth is, they don't "Own" this spectrum at all - the 'airwaves' are, and always have been, a public resource; granted, regulated by the government. The whole idea of Spectrum Auctions was a stupid money-grab by our short-sighted government bean-counters which essentially granted favorable status to the incumbent wireless carriers over the rights and interests of common citizens. Now AT&T and Verizon think they DO own those frequencies and want to tell the government what to do with them?!?

I'm ALL about capitalism and free business, BUT - a few select corporate entities should NEVER be given control of the resources which inherently belong to the entire citizenry. You need only to look around you to see what happens when greed is allowed to overrule good government.

Toledo, OH

Re: Should never have been "Sold" - and they weren't

As far as they are concered and the way it works; they do own them. Once they make their payment from the auction, they're free to do what they want with them as long as it does not interfer with others.

Nothing states that they do not own these in writing; it's just "assumed" they do not own them and the air waves are a public resource.

Ai Otsukaholic

1 recommendation


I walk into a Senator's office with a pre-written bill and a bag of money, I go to FPMINAP for bribery. VZ or AT&T do it and it's "lobbying" and "contributions".

Tavistock NJ

Interference issues with gov't use of shared spectrum

More than 20 federal agencies currently hold more than 3,100 individual frequency assignments within the spectrum band. The uses include critical government functions such as law enforcement surveillance, military tactical communications, air combat training and precision-guided munitions.

How is this for an interference issue? You make a cellphone data transfer near an airbase in New Mexico and the precision-guided missile being tested nearby locks on to your phone.

Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Tulsa, OK

Re: Interference issues with gov't use of shared spectrum


Serously tho. :P

I'm hoping the Government never really sees the need to be trying to precision bomb targets inside the USA.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini


i dated her in highschool

and im 42 now ROFL

Tavistock NJ

Re: i dated her in highschool

said by funny:

and im 42 now ROFL

And who is that? The girl in the T-Mobile pic?

Apache Junction, AZ

New phone required?

Does this mean my new phone is obsolete already so I'll need another new phone?

Richmond, VA


How can T-Mobile be an upstart? It clearly has telecom's hottest spokes-model.

I'll Be Back

Lodi, NJ

Well Well

Glad to see Tmo being proactive and thinking outside the limits. Go Go Go!

Who let the magic smoke out?
Saint Augustine, FL

Sound Familiar?

Wow, doesn't this sound familiar, anyone remember Light Squared?
At least this time it'll only be messing up government systems.. I hope.

Typical FCC, the non technical people "expressed excitement" wonder if any of them bothered to ask any of the engineers in the OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) if it would work.. Oh wait there's no plan yet that they could look at, but heck lets approve it anyway.

If the laws of physics get in the way I'm sure we can have them changed so it'll work right?

Miami, FL

Re: Sound Familiar?

The government just see's this as a cash cow because now they can resell the same spectrum that is already sold. I want to see how this "trial" actually works.