AT&T Gets WCS Approval, Adds 4G Markets
AT&T Inc. is adding more LTE cities to its current deployment as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given its blessing for the carrier to use WCS spectrum for future 4G.
AT&T has launched the faster LTE service in Green Bay, Wis.; Springfield, Mass.; Tucson, Ariz.; Melbourne, Fla.; and Oxford, Miss. A company spokesman says that AT&T has now reached 125 markets covered with 4G LTE.
The operator also says that it has expanded coverage of the faster 4G data service in Phoenix, Los Angeles, New York and Salt Lake City this week.
The FCC, meanwhile, has given the green light for AT&T to use 2.3GHz Wireless Communication Services (WCS) as well as fresh AWS licenses for future 4G. This comes after AT&T reached a compromise over minimizing interference with satellite radio services in nearby bandwidth.
The operator has previously said that it will use the spectrum for "alternative" LTE services. It is not yet exactly clear what kind of alternative aims AT&T has, but they could include using the spectrum for fixed wireless and backhaul links.
AT&T executives have said that the band is expected to go into commercial use in 2015.
Why this matters AT&T's 4G future now appears more solid than it did after the failure of the T-Mobile USA acquisition at the end of last year. The operator has a steady pace rolling on its current 4G deployment and room to grow with spectrum in the future.
- 4G State of Play: LTE in the USA
- Is There Really a Spectrum Shortage?
- AT&T: 7 Up for LTE 4G
- FCC Chairman Says Yes to WCS for 4G
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile