FCC heads to Seattle to test AWS-3 spectrum interference

FCC engineers will travel to Seattle next week to conduct tests to see whether offering free broadband service on 25 percent of the AWS-3 spectrum will cause interference with T-Mobile's UMTS network that is currently being deployed in the AWS-1 spectrum band. FCC engineers will use some of T-Mobile's equipment to conduct interference tests, but they will 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 is opposed to the plan because it operates on an adjacent swath of spectrum and its engineers say that Internet traffic in neighboring airwaves will cause dropped connections for T-Mobile customers.

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