FCC Opens Up 25MHz in 2.3GHz Band

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this morning voted unanimously to open up 25MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band for mobile services, calling it a “strong down-payment” on its ambitious target of freeing up 500MHz of bandwidth for wireless in the next 10 years.

The government agency isn’t detailing yet how it plans to get the spectrum. It intends to post the report and order on its site soon, which should give some more information on how the FCC plans to do this.

Some satellite radio providers already in that bandwidth have voiced concern about potential interference if more services are launched in the 2.3GHz frequency. The FCC says, however, that its field tests do not indicate that it will be an issue.

The 25MHz that the FCC is initially talking about opening up is a drop in the spectrum bucket compared to the amount of bandwidth it eventually hopes to free up for mobile broadband services, although the FCC’s initial plan only suggested using 20MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz range.

Over the next five years, the FCC wants to open up 500MHz for wireless usage, including some 120MHz that would be reclaimed from TV broadcasters. Over 10 years, it wants 500MHz to go for mobile broadband services. (See FCC Proposes 300MHz More Spectrum by 2015, FCC Declares War on Broadband , and FCC Forms Spectrum Task Force.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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