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FCC says AWS-3 auction okay despite staunch opposition

Mon, 10/13/2008 - 8:05am
Evan Koblentz, Wireless Week

The FCC will move forward with plans to auction AWS-3 spectrum, after concluding late last week that any interference with existing AWS-1 devices will not be a significant problem.

Several major industry players, led by T-Mobile and also including AT&T, MetroPCS, Nokia and the CTIA, all repeatedly argued in the past few months that AWS-3 devices would cause harmful interference to existing AWS-1 systems.

However, startup M2Z Networks, which intends to bid on the AWS-3 spectrum, asserts that incumbents were only claiming interference as a way to prevent M2Z from implementing its potentially game-changing plan to offer free wireless broadband service.

T-Mobile conducted a test last month at a Boeing facility, which was observed by the FCC and M2Z officials.  Later, the test methods become controversial.  M2Z said parts of the test were rigged and T-Mobile said M2Z’s observers were unqualified to judge.

Now, according to the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology, “This report tentatively concludes that for the static case that is examined, AWS-3 devices could operate… without a significant risk of harmful interference.”

Further, the FCC “would encourage the parties to work together to adopt whatever further measures may be necessary to control interference,” the Commission noted.

The conclusion is here and the test data is here.

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