Ericsson proposes new plan for AWS spectrum

Infrastructure giant Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) recently filed a new spectrum plan with the FCC that could free up more than 100 MHz of new spectrum for mobile broadband. The proposal is part of a much broader effort among regulators and wireless industry players to make more radio waves available for mobile broadband services.

Ericsson earlier this month detailed a proposal to the FCC that would pair 1675-1710 MHz with 2075-2110 MHz (AWS-4) and 1755-1780 MHz with 2155-2180 MHz (AWS-3). The company also urged the commission to shift the MSS S Band uplink spectrum from 2000-2020 MHz to 2005-2025 MHz. In a filing with the FCC, MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) voiced support for Ericsson's proposal.  

The proposal is one of many to hit the FCC in recent months. The agency is soliciting comments on how it can free up more AWS spectrum to auction for mobile broadband. However, much of the spectrum--including most of the radio waves in Ericsson's proposal--is being used by the federal government. The Obama administration, through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, is currently evaluating whether the 1755-1850 MHz band can be repurposed for commercial broadband use. The NTIA's report on the matter is due Sept. 30.

A range of players are urging the FCC to pair 1755-1780 MHz with 2155-2180 MHz for mobile broadband. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) recently wrote in a filing with the FCC that the pairing "is compatible with existing AWS spectrum, resulting in large economies of scale, lower cost equipment, more rapid deployment of broadband networks because licensees will be able to leverage AWS investments, and reduced risk of interference."

Verizon and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) own much of the AWS spectrum the FCC auctioned in 2006, and plan to use it to enhance their LTE network buildouts on 700 MHz spectrum.

For more:
- see this FCC proceeding

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