Just a week before the FCC is scheduled to hold its very full March meeting, U.S. wireless carriers Verizon and AT&T have come out in support of the Commission’s proposed cellular service reform.
According to ex parte notices filed this week, both carriers back an agenda item from the FCC that would “facilitate mobile broadband deployment, including LTE, promote greater spectrum efficiency, and reduce regulatory burdens and costs.” A fact sheet from the FCC indicates its Cellular Service Reform actions would continue the transition 800 MHz spectrum to a geographic licensing framework. In particular, the order would both allow licensees to choose technologies that work best for their wireless service and enable more efficient use of spectrum for advanced mobile broadband services already provided in other spectrum bands, including faster speeds for data and video and music streaming.
The FCC said the rules would permit cellular licensees to use “about the same amount of power across the spectrum band, whether they are using a legacy (narrow bandwidth) technology or modern (wider bandwidth) technology like LTE.” They would also promote co-existence between cellular and public safety systems via a public forum and interference resolution procedures; make cellular rules for the band consistent with other commercial wireless services; and slash “burdens” related to application filings, domestic and international coordination, and renewal.
AT&T called the proposal “a very thorough order” that stemmed from “much discussion and collaboration among industry, public safety, and the FCC.”
Verizon, too, urged adoption of the order at the Commission’s meeting, but proposed two changes to the draft rules. Specifically, the carrier sought to change how cellular licensees calculate service area, and also asked that the cellular field strength limit be amended to reflect a power spectral density environment.
“Failure to make this change will require licensees using PSD to exceed the field strength limit at the market boundary to provide reliable service, because service at the market boundary under the current rule will be only marginally reliable,” Verizon wrote of the latter request. “As a result, licensees will need to negotiate many more extension agreements to provide reliable coverage at market boundaries.”
The Cellular Service Reforms will go before the FCC for a vote on March 23.
Filed Under: Industry regulations