FCC Auctioning 300MHz Of Wireless Spectrum by 2015

James Johnson

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced plans to sell off 300MHz of additional wireless spectrum by 2015. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced plans for the spectrum which will bring more high-speed mobile services to the wireless market. The 300MHz will partly fulfill the 2010 National Broadband Plan.

The 300MHz worth of additional spectrum is vastly needed by mobile operators with trade group CTIA calling for 800MHz of additional spectrum space by 2015.

Currently, the FCC plans to auction off several different blocks worth of spectrum space with several blocks in the AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) band. AWS is an important part of the recently launched 4G LTE high-speed mobile data networks. Among the bands to be auctioned will be spectrum in the 1755MHz and 1780MHz space, spectrum that will be shared with government users.

The first block of spectrum going up for sale is the Sprint Nextel sought after AWS-2 H-Block, spectrum Sprint Wireless would use to expand its own 4G LTE service. The FCC will hand the proceeds of that money over to create a nationwide public safety network and to pay down part of the federal deficit.

Genachowski says the FCC is also "working with stakeholders" to allow LTE in the "L band" to be auctions. The "L band" is historically reserved for satellites.

With wireless spectrum being freed up, cellular companies will be able to further their capacity while creating a nationwide 4G LTE network that expands outside of major markets.

Auction sales estimates have not been made by analysts at this time. Pricing is likely to reflect the amount and types of spectrum being offered.