The incentive auction of prized 600 MHz spectrum still faces some major challenges, but the FCC is clearly off to a good start.
The FCC today announced it will be able to offer a whopping 126 MHz, or 10 paired blocks, of licensed spectrum on a near-nationwide basis in the forward portion of its 600 MHz incentive auction. That's a huge victory for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and it potentially creates an opening for a new wireless carrier to launch in the United States.
The FCC today announced an initial spectrum clearing target of 126 MHz for the 600 MHz incentive auction, a figure that represents the maximum amount of spectrum the commission had hoped to offer.
T-Mobile has been a vocal proponent for the 39-month 600 MHz incentive auction repack timeframe and now it's throwing its financial backing behind a company that can help meet the added demand for antennas.
As the FCC's incentive auction of TV broadcasters' unwanted 600 MHz spectrum licenses gets underway, a new concern is now facing the U.S. tower industry: Older cellular towers might not be able to handle the additional weight of new 600 MHz antennas and equipment.
The FCC's long-awaited incentive auction of 600 MHz spectrum effectively kicks off tonight as the Commission begins to reconfigure TV broadcasters' airwaves for use by mobile service providers. But while the auction has been six years in the making, much work is yet to be done.
The National Association of Broadcasters again protested the FCC's 39-month timeline for repacking TV spectrum following the upcoming incentive auction, saying the Commission "has not done any serious analysis" of the work required to move broadcasters to new channels.
The FCC's much-anticipated 600 MHz incentive auction could potentially provide a wealth of business for tower providers and wireless network installers once the operators put the spectrum they purchase to use.
TV broadcasters must tell the FCC which specific TV channels they are interested in selling by next week, which will kick off the incentive auction of 600 MHz spectrum that will be a key focal point for the mobile industry for at least the next several months. The FCC will then reconfigure those airwaves via optimization software to make them more easily usable for carriers before announcing in a few weeks how much spectrum it hopes to make available to bidders. Officials hope to provide as much as 126 MHz.
The FCC's upcoming incentive auction of 600 MHz spectrum has attracted over 104 applicants, creating what Chairman Tom Wheeler hopes will result in a "spectrum extravaganza."