DISH Seeks FCC OK for Bluewater Wireless Spectrum in Denver, Vegas

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DISH Network asked the FCC for a temporary license to use 600 MHz spectrum band licenses owned by another licensee for 5G tests in Las Vegas and Denver. The company said in an STA filing the owner of the spectrum, Bluewater Wireless II, agreed to allow DISH to use it.  

DISH said it needs Bluewater’s spectrum licenses in the two cities to test and validate equipment for its 5G broadband network, using open radio access network (O-RAN) technologies. It needs two non-contiguous spectrum blocks to test carrier aggregation, according to Broadband Breakfast.  

“DISH anticipates needing more low-band spectrum in some markets to meet customer demand in the future,” the company stated. “When and if additional 600 MHz spectrum becomes available, either when the Commission auctions unassigned spectrum or through future partnerships, DISH plans to use carrier aggregation at the market level to combine multiple 600 MHz assets to add capacity and improve data throughput speeds.”

DISH asserts granting the STA is in the public interest because it will enable DISH to employ “certain spectrum licensed to Bluewater that is not yet deployed.” The test will end no later than the end of this year and the spectrum will only be used for testing and not for commercial purposes, Bluewater added in a letter to the FCC consenting to the arrangement.

The Denver-based company said it completed its first fully open RAN-compliant network communication in December 2020. DISH said it was taking sign-ups for its 5G service in June, with Las Vegas being the first city to get its 5G network, according to the account.

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