FCC votes to auction slice of 1,900MHz band for mobile data

The FCC may be most concerned with portioning out lower frequencies to bandwidth-hungry carriers, but it's devoting some attention to higher bands today. The agency has voted in favor of auctioning off two slices of 1,900MHz spectrum, the lower H block (1,915MHz to 1,920MHz) and upper H block (1,995MHz to 2,000MHz), for the sake of mobile broadband. Both are relatively close to Sprint's PCS airwaves, but the provider reportedly has nothing to fear when rules are in place to minimize interference. If all goes well, an auction could take place in late 2013 or early 2014 -- just soon enough to deliver a quick capacity boost ahead of larger spectrum wars.

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FCC MOVES TO ENABLE USE OF 10 MHZ OF SPECTRUM FOR MOBILE BROADBAND

New service, licensing, and technical rules will enable flexible use services in the H Block

Washington, D.C. Today the Commission adopted a Report and Order that will increase the Nation's supply of spectrum for flexible use services, including mobile broadband, by opening 10 megahertz of spectrum in the bands 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz (H Block) for commercial licensing.

By enabling 10 megahertz of spectrum to be used for mobile broadband, the Report and Order furthers the Commission's efforts to ensure that the Nation's wireless networks have the capacity, speed and ubiquity to keep pace with consumers' expectations and ever rising demand for mobile services. It is also a step towards meeting its obligation under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Spectrum Act) to license 65 megahertz, including the 10 megahertz in the H Block, by February 2015.

The Report and Order pairs the two bands that comprise the H Block, and establishes that the paired bands will be licensed on an Economic Area basis and auctioned through a system of competitive bidding. In addition, the Report and Order sets technical rules to help ensure that operations in the H Block do not cause harmful interference to PCS downlink operations, consistent with a requirement in the Spectrum Act. Finally, the Report and Order adopts flexible use regulatory, licensing, and operating rules for H Block licensees.

Action by the Commission June 27, 2013, by Report and Order (FCC 13-88). Acting Chairwoman
Clyburn, Commissioners Rosenworcel and Pai with Acting Chairwoman Clyburn, Commissioners
Rosenworcel and Pai issuing statements.

Docket No.: WT Docket No. 12-357.