The FCC has announced the “H block” auction on the PCS band, and is looking for comments on its plans to auction the 10 MHz slice of spectrum in January, 2014.
The paired frequencies are 1915-1920 MHz (“Lower H Block”) and 1995-2000 MHz (“Upper H Block”) bands (collectively, the “H Block”).
Sprint is currently offering FD-LTE in the PCS “G” block (1910-1915/1990-1995 MHz). But it’s only 2 x 5 MHz wide. Sprint wants to buy the adjoining “H” block so it can have 2 x 10MHz (1910-1920 / 1990-2000).
But Dish has the adjoining MSS spectrum at 2000 MHz. Sprint wants Dish to shift up 5 MHz (2005-2025 MHz) to avoid interference problems. Dish says that would delay their wireless rollout.
Sprint’s filing with the FCCcalled for the FCC to shift Dish Network’s AWS-4 band up 5 MHz from 2000-2020 MHz to 2005-2025 MHz so their planned adjacent “H block” of PCS spectrum can be used for LTE.
“In arguing that the commission should destroy the value of the H block, Dish is seeking to take a public asset potentially worth billions of dollars and turn it into a private windfall,” said Justin Cole, an FCC spokesman, reports Bloomberg.
“This is not windfall; it’s a venture where success is by no means assured,” said Bob Toevs, a Dish spokesman. “While we remain ready to work with the commission, we urge it to consider the sacrifices its current approach to the H block means for spectrum, jobs and investment.”
Other bidders for the “H block” might also include AT&T which has shown their willingness to spend billions largely to thwart competitors.
On the other hand, Tim Fararr notes that Sprint paid Apple $15.5B to ensure its own non-standard LTE (G Block) spectrum was included in iPhones, but now it may be more straightforward to simply make use of the globally allocated 2.6 GHz band.
Related Dailywireless articles include; AT&T Buying Leap Wireless (Cricket), FCC Limits Dish on LTE Terrestrial Spectrum, Dish: On the Move, Dish and Sprint Battle over PCS band Extension, FCC Approves 2.3 GHz for AT&T, AT&T Likely to Get 2.3 GHz, Sprint’s Dish Compromise, Nexus 4 Deals for Voice/Data, MetroPCS Merges with T-Mobile USA,