CTIA yesterday again filed objections to the FCC’s upcoming vote on an AWS-3 spectrum auction, this time suggesting multiple alternative proposals.
The proposed auction is surrounded in controversy. T-Mobile and numerous other wireless operators say AWS-3 devices, if used without changes to the spectrum plan, will interfere with their existing AWS-1 networks. Some carriers and government watchdogs say the spectrum is worth far more than the FCC expects to make from it. Meanwhile, startup M2Z Networks hopes to use the spectrum for offering free nationwide mobile WiMAX service and claims the incumbents are simply trying to block its business plan.
“The Commission should adopt rules that enable multiple opportunities for new wireless broadband deployments across the country and reject, once and for all, the M2Z-backed proposal that would mandate (as opposed to permit) a single company’s business plan and technical requirements and threaten the prospects of mobile wireless broadband competitors utilizing adjacent spectrum bands,” CTIA said in its renewed objection.
The spectrum could pair AWS-3 with AWS-1’s J Block – “The FCC could create a single asymmetric license combining the 2020-2025 MHz block used for uplink with the 2155-2180 MHz block used for downlink or it could link the J Block with a portion of AWS-3, 2155-2165 MHz for example, and enable smaller blocks of AWS-3 spectrum for downlink-only,” CTIA said.
Or, “The FCC also could choose to license the AWS-3 spectrum in multiple spectrum blocks enhancing the asymmetric opportunity within a single geographic area for multiple providers. This, for example, would enable CMRS or AWS-1 licensees to link their spectrum holdings with enhanced download (base-transmit) capacity from the AWS-3 spectrum for optimal broadband offerings.”
T-Mobile previously said it may consider filing a lawsuit if the FCC votes in favor of the plan.
M2Z CEO John Muleta, who previously was an FCC executive, said he doesn’t see anything new in the CTIA letter. “We welcome the opportunity to participate and we hope other people show up,” he said. “We believe the market will sort out the pricing.”