FCC planning to release 300MHz of spectrum to carriers by 2015

Speaking yesterday at the University of Pennsylvania, chairman of the FCC Julius Genachowski explained how he plans to release another 300MHz of wireless spectrum to high speed wireless carriers by 2015. A large portion of the spectrum will be auctioned off in the AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) band, which isn't exactly what you'd call "prime real estate", but is where AT&T currently operates some LTE and T-Mobile has historically ran its HSPA+ network. New chunks of AWS being available could give a much-needed boost to these networks.

We hear a lot about spectrum nowadays -- who has it? who doesn't? why does it matter? -- but the real takeaway here is that more spectrum being available for carriers to use is a good thing. It essentially means that carriers will have more room to allocate bandwidth to devices, especially in major metropolitan areas where its quite apparent that these networks are oversaturated

Source: FCC (pdf); via Slashdot

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • I'd like to see this only if it comes with the same provisions as C-Block bandwidth (any device any application).
  • Personally, we need to stop this exclusive auction baloney. All bandwidth should be "sold" on a per device basis open for all carriers. Doing this would dramatically increase the ability for all carriers to compete with each other. Various carriers could still make money, but they'd do it by charging for the tower access and backhaul capacity. Basically like wholesalers and retailers. This system of bandwidth monopoly reduces competition, encourages consolidation of carriers (to get needed bandwidth), and only helps the larger carriers (just asked the smaller ones). Scott
  • "especially in major metropolitan areas where its quite apparent that these networks are oversaturated"
    In Sprint's case everywhere!
  • Sprint doesn't (currently) have a network saturation problem, they have a backhaul problem... This is one of the main issues being addressed with network vision.
  • Agreed that it's a backhaul problem, and a BIG one. I used to work for T-Mobile, and saw a lot of Sprint co-locations. They do a great job covering a busy area with 2 T1's. Sure, you can call people, but any data usage gets thrown out the window.
  • I live in South-Central Michigan. Sprint is horrible on speed unless you are in very limited WiMax areas. No planned LTE deployment in 2013 in the entire state. Verizon has LTE pretty much everywhere, 3G in the country. AT&T deployed 3G this year. T-Mobile has 42mbps deployed in the major population centers and then GPRS for miles between cities. It's different everywhere.
  • I live in Texas, and Sprint's 3G seems to be getting better every day. If you guys are patient enough, the benefits of Network Vision will come to you in time. No guarantee on how much time (and Iknow you guys hate that), but, depending on how much of your contract is still left and how popular your area is, it may be worth the wait.
  • Well here in central indiana sprint has great coverage and speed where verizon is the one with the problems. I can not wait till next month to go back to sprint. Verizon is trash here.