The FCC has decided not to revise roaming rules that currently allow a carrier to roam in areas where they own spectrum but have not built a network. The agency had considered a proposal that would have allowed carriers with unused spectrum to continue to have roaming arrangements with other carriers for four years before they had to decide to either use the spectrum or give it back and continue roaming.
The FCC could not agree on how to best implement the proposal and wanted more time to study the rules.
Small operators such as Leap Wireless have become increasingly concerned about roaming since the proposed merger between Alltel and Verizon Wireless was announced in June. Leap has requested the FCC to deny the proposed merger unless rules were implemented to guarantee there was CDMA roaming available for the carrier. Verizon, meanwhile, told the FCC that it had no intention of terminating Alltel's roaming agreement with the smaller operator.
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