The FCC last week updated rules for use of the AWS-3 spectrum that will be auctioned to commercial cellular operators on November 13, 2014, notes RCR Wireless.
The FCC in late March released its initial AWS-3 rules. The FCC’s Report and Order sets flexible-use regulatory, licensing, and technical rules for 65 megahertz of spectrum in the AWS-3 band, which includes the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands.
The licensed spectrum will include three 5×5 megahertz options, leaving just a single 10×10 megahertz license covering the country. The unlicensed spectrum will use the 1755-1780 MHz bands.
the FCC detailed the AWS-3 rules in mid-May, noting that there would not be any limitations on bidding eligibility. Verizon showed strong interest in the band, while Sprint has hinted that it may skip the AWS-3 proceedings.
The aggregate reserve price for the 1695-1710 MHz band is $580 million with a separate aggregate reserve price for the paired 1755-1780 MHz/2155-2180 MHz bands of approximately $10.07 billion. Some spectrum is being reallocated from federal use in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands. The FCC will assign new licenses for the AWS-3 spectrum by competitive bidding.
In its AWS-3 transition plan released earlier this month, NTIA estimates total relocation and sharing costs for the 1695-1710 MHz band at $527.1 million and for the 1755-1780 MHz band at $4.576 billion. The spectrum at 2155-2180 MHz is in FCC hands and ready for auction. The 1695-1710 MHz band will be unpaired spectrum used for low-power uplink operations. The 1755-1780 MHz band will be licensed for low-power uplink operations and will be paired with the 2155-2180 MHz band for downlink operations.
As previously included in AWS-3 rulemaking, the FCC also reiterated that companies that gain access to spectrum licenses will have to put up with potential interference from federal users in the 1755-1780 MHz bands that are set to be cleared of federal users as part of the auction process.
The protection zone addition did not go over well with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who fired off a formal letter stating his objection to the process. Pai’s objections centered on the lack of information regarding the location of the protection zones.
Related Dailywireless articles include; FCC Sets AWS-3 Auction Rules, AWS-3 Auction Rules: Who Benefits?, Dish Wins Everything in H-Block PCS Auction, Verizon Activates AWS Band , DOJ Sets Conditions for Verizon AWS, Verizon Getting AWS Spectrum Says WSJ, T-Mobile Okayed to Test Spectrum Sharing, Verizon’s Spectrum Deal: Tough Nut, AT&T Buys 2.3 GHz from NextWave, AT&T Wants 2.3 GHz for LTE, FCC to Okay Verizon/Cable Spectrum Buy,