Sprint announced that its transition of Broadcast Auxiliary Services (BAS) facilities from the 1990-2025 MHz spectrum band has been completed in the Houston, Phoenix, Orlando and Norfolk, Va., markets.

Including these four Top 50 markets, the transition has now been completed for 67 stations in 19 markets, covering a population of approximately 25 million people, Sprint said. Other markets that have recently switched to their new spectrum include Tucson, Ariz.; Richmond, Va.; Gainesville, Fla.; and Beaumont, Laredo and Victoria, Texas.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has licensed Sprint to use a portion of the 2GHz spectrum, which is currently used by broadcasters to send and receive news from the field. Sprint, as well as two satellite companies that will also receive BAS spectrum, is paying for new equipment and reimbursing broadcasters for the cost of moving to their new spectrum, the telco said.

Sprint and the broadcasters are working with equipment vendors and contractors to design, build and install new BAS equipment – such as transmitters, receivers and antennas – before broadcasters switch operations to their new spectrum. In total, the transition involves more than one thousand BAS licensees nationwide – many with older, complicated and highly customized systems that make the transition extremely complex, Sprint said.

The announcement comes two days after Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications said that they were done with Pivot (story here).

The Pivot joint venture between cable and Sprint was announced in late 2005. The four MSO partners – including Advance/Newhouse (Bright House Networks) – had been offering the service for about a year when Sprint decided it would not support expansion.

The three operators said that they will offer current mobile phone subscribers the option to continue service directly with Sprint or cancel their subscriptions without penalty.

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