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FCC Gives T-Mobile the Thumbs Up to Test 4G LTE in Shared Airwaves

Wireless tower

The FCC recently gave T-Mobile USA the green light to begin testing its 4G LTE network in the 1755 – 1780MHz band, which is currently also used by the government. T-Mobile has struggled behind Sprint, Verizon and AT&T to roll-out its 4G LTE network and, as a result, the carrier has been looking to acquire additional spectrum.

“The testing we propose is part of an industry-wide effort to build critical understanding of operations in this band, and we will be working with other carriers and equipment manufacturers moving ahead,” Tom Sugrue, T-Mobile’s senior vice president of government affairs, said in a statement obtained by Reuters on Friday. The FCC said the move is an important step forward and that it will benefit U.S. wireless subscribers everywhere.

“Today, we take an important step forward in our effort to enable greater government-commercial spectrum sharing, a new tool that joins clearing and reallocation as part of an ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy to address our nation’s spectrum challenges,” FCC chairman Julis Genachowski said. “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. As we move forward, we will continue to collaborate closely with key government agencies, including NTIA and the Department of Defense, as well as private sector partners, to gain greater spectrum efficiency and unlock the many potential benefits of government-commercial spectrum sharing.”

Yesterday, Verizon Wireless was granted approval to purchase spectrum from several cable companies in a $3.9 billion deal. As such, it has also entered in an agreement with T-Mobile in which it will swap out some of its existing AWS spectrum.

[via FCC, Reuters]

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...