As part of its rules for the upcoming 600 MHz incentive auction, the FCC outlined new rules for unlicensed activities that the agency said are "designed to allow for more robust unlicensed use and to promote spectral efficiency in the 600 MHz band." However, the agency's rules immediately drew complaints from the likes of AT&T and the National Association of Broadcasters, which generally argued the FCC's rules will create more interference in the bands.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said that during the past five years it has freed up 245 MHz of spectrum for licensed and unlicensed commercial wireless communications. And the agency said it remains on track to release about that same amount during the next five years.
AT&T Mobility said the FCC should approve its purchase of 700 MHz spectrum from East Kentucky Network, which does business as Appalachian Wireless, and that T-Mobile US' petition to block the deal is groundless.
T-Mobile US' battle with AT&T Mobility over the size of the spectrum reserve in next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz airwaves--and over access to low-band spectrum generally--moved into a new venue. T-Mobile asked the FCC to block AT&T's deal to buy some 700 MHz spectrum in parts of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, arguing that with the deal "AT&T will prove far more able to exclude competitors, raise their costs, damage their businesses and ultimately lessen competition" in the markets in question.
The annual NAB show offers a clear look into the inner workings of the pay, broadcast and over-the-top TV market--and this year's show in Las Vegas was no different. Indeed, this year's event drew more than 103,000 attendees, surpassing last year's almost 98,000. Nearly 26,500 attendees were from outside the U.S., representing 164 countries. Nearly 1,800 exhibitors stretched across the Las Vegas Convention Center, taking up over a million square feet of exhibit space.
Verizon Wireless indicated that it thinks it has enough spectrum for the foreseeable future and is taking a "wait and see" approach to the FCC's 600 MHz incentive auction of broadcast TV spectrum. However, some analysts think that Verizon is playing coy as a way to get auction rules that it finds more favorable or to delay the auction.
Google and Qualcomm might share a lot of visionary goals, like getting Internet access to far-flung places around the globe that don't yet have it, but when it comes to the 600 MHz guard bands and unlicensed operations, they're pretty far apart.
Debate about licensed and unlicensed spectrum has been raging as long as I can remember--and it continues as the FCC faces questions about how to arrange the band plan for 600 MHz in a manner that allows the fastest and broadest possible use of spectrum.
The FCC is trying to give a little more love to unlicensed spectrum and make sure future devices in TV white spaces work as well as they should.
Google and Microsoft are keeping up the pressure as they lobby the FCC to include technical rules enabling the use of unlicensed devices in the 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum that will be auctioned next year.