The Federal Communications Commission has taken a step toward asking the two top U.S. carriers to stop hogging a chunk of valuable mobile spectrum.
The commission voted 3-0 Wednesday to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking that could eventually force AT&T and Verizon Wireless to share the lower end of the 700 MHz spectrum it now controls. The carriers have asked their manufacturing partners to create devices that only work on their narrow spectrum band, crowding out smaller competitors.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski stated in a statement Wednesday that an auction of 700 MHz spectrum in 2008, which gave the lion’s share to the Big Two, resulted in “the emergence of two non-interoperable band classes for devices. This was an unanticipated development and it is having consequences that raise real concerns.”
Providers in the A band, he said, complain that they are unable to obtain devices on their networks that work on the spectrum they own. “Today, we initiate a proceeding on interoperability,” Genachowski said.
The Big Two carriers argue that interoperability will create interference, and the FCC’s involvement constitutes onerous over-regulation.
“The high-power broadcasts that are permitted in channel 51 and in the lower E-block create the potential for significant technical and deployment impediments in the neighboring lower 700 MHz blocks,” wrote AT&T’s Joan Marsh in a company blog post.
“Some have argued that the technical and physical limitations of the band should simply be ignored, and have called for sweeping interoperability mandates. Such mandates would be an unprecedented regulatory intrusion into a carrier’s right to manage network and device deployment in a manner ideal suited to serve its customers.”
But smaller carriers argue that because the phones enabled for high-speed, long-term evolution data networks used by AT&T and Verizon Wireless work within a narrow section of the band, there is tiny chance of…
source : www.newsfactor.com
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Submited at Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 at 3:00 pm on tech by alliana
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