T-Mobile Says FCC’s Spectrum Offerings are Out of Balance

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unknownThe FCC’s recent freeing of some spectrum has created a stark contrast between the amount of licensed and unlicensed spectrum repurposed for use. Although intended to build interest in the current auction, Android Headlines says the vast difference has caused T-Mobile to request the FCC to balance the amount of each spectrum issued.

Licensed, most beneficial when used for devices demanding constant connectivity, is typically the core of mobile networks. Unlicensed spectrum is interrupted more often, but is usually used in conjunction with the integration of new technology.

T-Mobile wants the FCC to change how it licenses and distributes the spectrum bands above 24 GHz. Of these bands, 3.25 GHz was made available in licensed form, and most of it has already been designated for larger, incumbent carriers without being sent to auction. However, 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum was made available during the auction. T-Mobile’s request asks the FCC to specify some spectrum in the 37-37.6 GHz and 64-71 GHz areas to be designated for licensed use and auctioned off to network operators. 

These bands are usually considered undesirable by many carriers, but T-Mobile claims the same argument was used against the 28 and 39 GHz bands a few years ago. Now, these bands are considered some of the most desirable for mobile networks.

T-Mobile is the largest user of unlicensed spectrum, but the need for licensed spectrum for “more mission-critical and heavy-use scenarios” weighed heavily in the carrier’s decision to question how the spectrum is allotted. The Motley Fool indicated T-Mobile asserts 200,000 jobs are created and $3 billion is added to GDP for every 10 MHz of licensed spectrum.

December 21, 2016

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