The Federal Communications Commission announced on Thursday that it has given approval to wireless carriers to use 800MHz spectrum for 3G and LTE technologies. The  spectrum was originally blocked for 2G use only. The FCC’s order also focuses on public safety and requires that some of the 800MHz spectrum be relocated to prevent interference. Most likely to benefit from the FCC’s decision is Sprint, as the carrier is currently in the process of decommissioning its Nextel division’s iDEN network freeing up spectrum to use for its planned deployment of 800MHz LTE in 2014.

[press_start]

FCC PROMOTES WIRELESS INVESTMENT AND DEPLOYMENT
IN THE 800 MHz SMR BAND

Issues Report and Order to Reduce Regulatory Burdens Affecting 800 MHz SMR Licensees

Washington, D.C.—The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Report and Order today
that reduces barriers to the deployment of broadband, encourages investment in wireless technologies,
and facilitates the efficient use of spectrum by revising a burdensome legacy regulation that unnecessarily constrained 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) licensees.

The Report and Order amends the Commission’s rules to allow geographically-based SMR licensees to
operate across contiguous channels without a rigid channel spacing requirement or bandwidth limitation.
Lifting the unduly restrictive limitations currently in place will enable licensees to fully and more
efficiently utilize their licensed spectrum and transition their networks from legacy 2G technologies to 3G as well as other advanced technologies such as LTE.

The Report and Order balances these benefits with the continuing need to protect 800 MHz public safety
operations from interference and maintain the significant strides made in the ongoing 800 MHz
reconfiguration process, whereby 800 MHz operations are being relocated to protect public safety licensees against interference.

The FCC’s action today will spur investment in and deployment of wireless broadband networks and
improve spectrum efficiency while benefiting consumers through increased access to advanced wireless services, including in rural, unserved, and underserved areas.

Action by the Commission May 24, 2012, by Report and Order (FCC 12-55). Chairman Genachowski,
Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel, and Pai. Separate statements issued by Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel, and Pai. WT Docket No. 12-64.

For further information, contact Brian Regan: 202-418-2849; [email protected]. [press_end]