Operators like T-Mobile are eager to get nationwide, low-band spectrum to improve coverage and in-building signal strength through the 600 MHz incentive auctions expected to start March 29.
But the move to new channels after the auctions requires a channel repacking process, and that means a lot of work for equipment manufacturers and tower crews. In fact, it may be more work than the current tower workforce can handle, especially if it all needs to be wrapped up within 39 months.
"We're in the famine period now, getting ready for the feast. So here we are: we're skinny as hell and the food is going to kill us," said Thomas Silliman, president of Electronics Research. For more on how Silliman and his company plan to handle all the work required in the repack, check out this FierceInstaller special report.