Cell Towers
Let's temper our excitement -- the FCC is merely considering these proposals at the moment but, if either are adopted, it could permanently change the mobile broadband landscape. First up, the commission is considering reassigning the 2GHz band from MSS (Mobile Satellite Service) to AWS (Advances Wireless Service). If adopted, the new rules would clear the way for Dish to launch its LTE network and enter the 4G market. It will also irk AT&T, which has been trying to tie up the spectrum following the collapse of the T-Mobile merger, most likely because the carrier hoped to use the 2GHz band itself.

Secondly, and perhaps even more important, is a proposal that would place new interoperability rules on the 700MHz spectrum used by both Verizon and AT&T for their LTE service. Until now concerns over interference have kept most 700MHz devices from being able to hop between the different blocks of spectrum. This is a particularly big issue for small and rural carriers which own some chunks of real estate in the band, but lack the buying power to convince big OEMs to make handsets for their networks. Obviously, there's still some haranguing to do before either of these proposals become law and you can bet AT&T will do its best to derail both efforts. Still, it's a good sign to see the FCC even taking up the issues. You can watch the entire debate at the source link.

[Tower photo via Shutterstock]

Update: As one of our tipsters has pointed out, it appears that the interoperability rules would only apply to the lower 700MHz band occupied by AT&T, not the upper band used by Verizon. Alas, that means we won't have Big Red and Ma Bell playing nice with their LTE anytime soon.

[Thanks, Karen]
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DISH Network Statement Concerning FCC's Rulemaking Proposal for 2 GHz Band

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., March 21, 2012: DISH Network issued the following statement today regarding the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the 2 GHz band of spectrum:

"DISH Network Corporation is pleased that the FCC launched today a proceeding to free up 40 MHz of spectrum in the 2 GHz band for mobile broadband. The rules proposed today advance some of President Obama's and the FCC's highest priorities - namely freeing up additional spectrum for commercial use while introducing new mobile broadband competition. DISH looks forward to working with the Commission on this critical NPRM, and we hope the process will move forward expeditiously so that more wireless innovation can be introduced to American consumers."

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About DISH Network
DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), through its subsidiary DISH Network L.L.C., provides approximately 13.967 million satellite TV customers, as of Dec. 31, 2011, with the highest quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value, including HD Free for Life. Subscribers enjoy the largest high definition line-up with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels, and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network's subsidiary, Blockbuster L.L.C., delivers family entertainment to millions of customers around the world. DISH Network Corporation is a Fortune 200 company. Visit www.dish.com.