C Spire can't find devices for its 700 MHz band class

An executive with C Spire Wireless said the operator had to delay the commercial launch of its LTE network because it could not acquire suitable devices for its 700 MHz band class. The service is now scheduled for introduction in September, a nine-month delay from the original launch date of December 2011. The operator's band class 12 spectrum is incompatible with AT&T's band class 17 spectrum and Verizon's band class 13 spectrum, making C Spire a relatively unattractive operator partner for smartphone vendors. C Spire has not said whether its upcoming LTE launch will occur in the 700 MHz band or on refarmed spectrum. Meanwhile, the FCC is pondering whether to require 700 MHz interoperability, which would require carriers to sell phones that support multiple 700 MHz bands, not just the bands in which they own licenses. Larger operators contend the FCC has no authority to issue such a mandate. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), in particular, has also argued that the proposed rule could lead to significant interference problems. Read this article for more on C Spire and the 700 MHz band class issues.