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T-Mobile: M2Z unqualified to judge AWS interference

Mon, 09/29/2008 - 8:10am
Evan Koblentz, Wireless Week

T-Mobile has issued a harshly worded statement defending its Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) interference test against startup M2Z Networks’ recent criticism.

Part of T-Mobile’s network operates in the AWS-1 spectrum, which is adjacent to the AWS-3 spectrum, in which M2Z seeks Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval to offer free nationwide service. 

T-Mobile, AT&T, MetroPCS, the CTIA and others all say that the M2Z plan will not work because of interference. M2Z argues that its plan would work fine, but that incumbent carriers simply fear competition. Both sides continue issuing statements and counter-statements, each time with stronger language.

M2Z’s most recent accusation was that an FCC-observed test conducted by T-Mobile was rigged to produce biased results, despite M2Z itself and the FCC each sending expert observers.

In response, the CTIA – the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry – and others suggested that if the test was not fair, then M2Z should’ve spoken up when it happened. T-Mobile added to that argument in its latest statement, without waiting for M2Z to reply first this time.

T-Mobile also said that it’s open to further tests at any certified laboratory of M2Z’s choosing. “In the face of the test results, the only gambit M2Z has left is to attack the testing procedures themselves,” the company said.

T-Mobile did propose an action with which M2Z may concur – that the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology should post its own tentative conclusions of the test. (The FCC did post raw data but did not comment on when conclusions would be made.)

In addition, T-Mobile proposed as a compromise last week that AWS-3 spectrum could be paired with the nearby J-Block. M2Z has not responded to that suggestion.

T-Mobile also added a new claim: “Unlike M2Z, [our test observers] have actual and extensive experience and knowledge in the testing of wireless devices and compatibility” – despite M2Z being run by a former FCC executive and sending to the test its own observer with FCC spectrum policy experience.

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