AT&T and Sirius Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) now say that they have come to a compromise over how LTE could be deployed in 2.3GHz Wireless Communication Services (WCS) spectrum blocks close to the existing radio service while minimizing interference. The companies are asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve the proposal so that testing can begin.
AT&T is the one of main holders of the WCS licenses -- through both auction and acquisition -- but has struggled with potential interference issues with Sirius. The radio service uses both satellite signal and repeaters on the ground to get music over-the-air to its subscribers.
Now AT&T and Sirius are proposing:
- The C and D blocks of the spectrum aren't used by WCS transmitters so that they serve as a guard around the satellite digital radio broadcasting spectrum.
- Transmit power for WCS devices and base stations is limited so that interference problems are mitigated.
- AT&T is allowed to deploy its standard two-channel 4G LTE FDD technology in part of the A and B blocks.
Not so long ago, AT&T was trying to sell off the C and D WCS blocks, but now it seems to have a new plan. The question is, what exactly?
The operator has already tried fixed wireless in the band with BellSouth. It has previously suggested the C and D blocks could be used for wireless backhaul. Any LTE build would obviously be a long-term proposition with the extra testing likely needed at the start of the process.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile