AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and DoD to Test Sharing Network Spectrum
AT&T has announced that it will test sharing 95MHz of spectrum with Verizon, T-Mobile, and the Department of Defense. The spectrum is currently being used by federal agencies and is located in the 1755 to 1850 MHz band.
Stacey Black, AT&T Assistant Vice President of Federal Regulatory, writes:
I want to emphasize that we continue to believe that clearing and reallocating is the best approach to freeing up much needed spectrum for commercial mobile broadband use. The existing exclusive licensing regime has resulted in billions of dollars in wireless infrastructure investment, enabling the U.S. to lead the way in the global mobile broadband marketplace. While clearing spectrum for exclusive commercial licensing must remain the top priority, when that is neither time nor cost effective, AT&T supports exploring sharing arrangements. As FCC Chairman Genachowski has noted, it doesn’t have to be an either/or choice for effective spectrum management.
Over the next couple months, spectrum monitoring, sharing and simulation activities will be conducted within the band to determine whether existing federal use of this spectrum is negatively impacted by the introduction of commercial mobile broadband services in the band, and conversely how the incumbent DoD system would affect mobile broadband services. Spectrum will be monitored at five DoD-specified locations. The actual sharing of spectrum will be evaluated between low power mobile broadband uplinks (base station receivers) and four uses identified by NTIA, including air combat training systems, aeronautical mobile telemetry, satellite command and control, and small unmanned aerial vehicles.
The test will wrap up at the end of March and the results will be publicly available through the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC).
AT&T is looking for additional spectrum to expand its LTE network. It's acquisition of T-Mobile failed; however, AT&T did recently agree to acquire spectrum in the 700 MHz B band from Verizon Wireless for $1.9 billion in cash and Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses in several markets, including Phoenix, Ariz., Los Angeles and Fresno, Calif. and Portland, Ore.