FCC Allocates Spectrum for 3G Use

The Federal Communications Commission Thursday allocated another 90 megahertz of spectrum for use by cellular companies introducing the high-speed services commonly known as third generation or “3G”. The space is currently occupied by the Department of Defense (DoD) and is tentatively scheduled for auction in mid-year of 2004.

The DoD space will be relocated by the first quarter of next year.

“I previously identified new revenue sources and new services as among the key steps to recovery in the telecommunications sector,” FCC Chairman Michael Powell said. “By our action today, we will make available spectrum resources that carriers and the consuming public demand — a major step in creating an environment hospitable to the introduction of new and innovative products and services.”

Powell cautioned, however, that, “Access to new spectrum is not a cure for today’s financially ailing wireless industry, but it is a key pre-condition to the long term health of the industry.”

The FCC allocated two contiguous 45 megahertz frequency bands located at 1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz, and both bands are allocated for fix and mobile wireless services. The FCC also proposes licensing and service rules that permit these bands to be used for any service consistent with the bands’ fixed and mobile allocations, including the provision of advanced wireless services.

“Today’s decisions on the allocation and proposed service rules lay the groundwork for future innovation,” Powell said. “Our service rules proposes affording future licensees the maximum possible flexibility in deciding how to put this resource into service for the public benefit. Within this framework, service providers can be expected to move spectrum quickly to its highest and best use.”

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