FCC to begin AWS-3 interference tests

The FCC, champing at the bit to auction spectrum in the AWS-3 band for a nationwide broadband network that will offer free service, is sending its engineers to Seattle next week to commence tests that will determine whether signals coming from this band would interfere with T-Mobile's WCDMA network in the adjacent AWS-1 band. FCC engineers plan to use some of T-Mobile's own equipment to conduct the tests, and they will also set their own testing parameters.

The FCC wants to create a 25-megahertz swath of spectrum, known as AWS-3, that would support a nationwide license. The agency would require the licensee to dedicate 25 percent of its network capacity to free broadband service, install a network-based Internet filtering system to block pornography and allow open access to third-party devices and applications. T-Mobile has been adamantly opposed to the plan, citing interference concerns. M2Z, which wants to bid on the spectrum, has been submitting filings saying T-Mobile's assertions are wrong.

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