AT&T is close to securing a major victory in its battle against the spectrum crunch. While it's not quite a done deal, FCC chairman Genachowski has submitted a proposed order to FCC commissioners that would authorize AT&T's deployment of its LTE service within a 20MHz portion of the 2.3GHz (WCS) band. The deal is unique in that the spectrum is currently reserved for satellite radio, and the reallocation would mark the first of its kind within the WCS band. As you may recall, AT&T previously conceded to a 5MHz dead zone on both ends of Sirius XM's operating frequency in order to mitigate interference concerns, and it seems the move was sufficient to gain the chairman's support.
Also looming on the FCC's to-do list is the decision of whether to approve AT&T's purchase NextWave and its unused WCS spectrum. If it's any indication, however, Chairman Genachowski seems bullish on the reallocation and has suggested that the agency may authorize another 30MHz of the WCS band for mobile broadband use. AT&T has previously said that it could feasibly deploy LTE over the 2.3GHz spectrum within the next three years. One group fighting the deal is the Competitive Carrier Association, which posits that AT&T's purchase of such a significant chunk of spectrum on the secondary market is anti-competitive in nature. It'll no doubt be interesting to see if the argument gains any traction with the FCC. In the meantime, you can view remarks from the agency's spokesperson after the break.