The FCC wants to open up satellite spectrum for land-based mobile broadband services in a new proceeding that could open up to 90 MHz of additional spectrum for the wireless industry.
The move is part of the agency’s plan to set aside 300 MHz of spectrum between 225 MHz and 3.7 GHz for mobile broadband services within five years. The FCC wants to open up a total of 500 MHz for mobile broadband by 2020.
“This initiative is an opportunity to make additional spectrum available for mobile broadband by promoting greater spectrum efficiency and flexibility,” said Julie Knapp, co-chair of the Spectrum Task Force. “The Spectrum Task Force remains firmly committed to maintaining robust mobile satellite capability that serves important needs like disaster recovery and rural access. I am confident that we can achieve all of these goals and create a win-win solution.”
If the Spectrum Task Force’s proceeding moves forward, the agency will remove barriers to flexible use of terrestrial mobile wireless service in the mobile satellite service band. The agency says its initiative will retain market-wide mobile satellite service capability, especially for public safety, rural services and the federal government.
The news is a boon for Harbinger Capital Partners, which wants to build a 4G network using spectrum that includes the mobile satellite service bands. Harbinger bought out mobile satellite communications services company SkyTerra in March for $262.5 million and plans to use the acquisition for its planned 4G service.