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AWS-3 opposition grows louder

Tue, 10/21/2008 - 8:10am
Evan Koblentz, Wireless Week

AT&T, Nokia, T-Mobile and several other wireless industry heavyweights filed comments yesterday to oppose the FCC’s AWS-3 auction plan.

The companies say AWS-3 spectrum, as currently designed, would cause significant interference with existing AWS-1 networks and would unfairly give the winning bidder an artificially low cost of entry. Start-up company M2Z Networks hopes to use that spectrum to give consumers cost-free nationwide mobile WiMAX service and says the incumbents’ real goal is to prevent it, which T-Mobile and others strongly deny.

The incumbents now say that the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology erred in its analysis of recent interference tests. There were incorrect variables in modeling assumptions, mistakes in logic regarding power levels and incorrect estimates of overload interference effects, the letter states.

Comcast, the CTIA, Ericsson, Motorola, Nortel, Qualcomm and U.S. Cellular are the other signatories.

“We respectfully request that OET reconsider and reissue its analysis in light of these factors,” the companies said. “When generally accepted engineering practices are utilized, it is clear that AWS-3 operations under the Commission’s proposed technical limits will cause significant and frequent harmful interference to millions of American consumers. With quality of mobile wireless service to so many consumers at risk, the Commission should not move forward with the proposed rules and instead should develop technical rules for the AWS-3 band that protect AWS-1.”

According to T-Mobile officials, the short-term goal is to convince FCC commissioners to vote against the AWS-3 auction plan. If that effort fails, then the companies may consider litigation, or may try for reconsideration by the next FCC administration.

The FCC has not said when it plans to vote.

More Broadband Direct:

• Comcast preps speed tests for DOCSIS 3.0 service

• TWC debuts avatar video Web site

• Optimum Lightpath closes buy of 4Connections

• AT&T marches into more cities with whole-home DVR

• Sandvine notes changes in large-file traffic

• Mushroom enables ISPs to offer T1 alternative

• Belgium op picks Nokia Siemens, Juniper for Ethernet

• AWS-3 opposition grows louder

• Azuki introduces ClickZoom

• Broadband Briefs for 10/21/08

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