The FCC on Thursday dismissed an objection from satellite radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc. that would have prevented the swap of spectrum licenses between U.S. wireless carriers T-Mobile and Verizon.
In July 2015, T-Mobile and Verizon applied to the FCC for permission to swap of a number of full and partial spectrum licenses.
A month later, however, Sirius sought to halt the exchange, claiming that interference from T-Mobile’s cell towers was causing its customers to lose their satellite radio signal.
During the proceedings, both T-Mobile and Verizon argued that the alleged interference was not located in areas related to the licenses in the proposed swap. Sirius held its ground, though, saying that “initial testing” pointed to T-Mobile’s cell sites as the cause of interference, especially for its customers in large urban markets.
The radio company further claimed the problem was likely to worsen as T-Mobile continues its network deployment in additional markets. The proposed swap, Sirius said, would facilitate this deployment and should thus be prevented.
On Thursday, the commission dismissed Sirius’ complaints, saying the subject would be “better addressed in a different proceeding.”
“Although the commission possesses broad discretion to review a variety of factors in making a public interest determination with respect to assignment applications, section 27.64 of the Commission’s rules provides for a dedicated and equitable process for addressing interference complaints of the nature raised here,” the commission wrote in its decision.
Despite the dismissal, the commission said Sirius retains the right to seek redress for the alleged interference and said it anticipates that the “involved licensees will take the necessary action in response to such a directive.”