FCC Lays Out H Block Auction Guide Lines

Posted by at 11:08 am on June 28, 2013

The Federal Communications Commission has approved draft rules for a spectrum auction expected to take place later this year or early next year.

The rules apply to the PCS H Block, which is a paired 10MHz block in the 1915-1920MHz (uplink) and 1995-2000MHz (downlink) bands. The H Block is part of a 65MHz chunk identified by Congress as ideal for mobile broadband use. It is one of the only swaths of airwaves that is paired and is not already used by the government.

The FCC expects competition for the spectrum to be high. Sprint and Dish Networks will possibly be the highest-profile bidders, since it would compliment spectrum owned by each. Sprint operates its CDMA and LTE network in the PCS band, and Dish has 40MHz of spectrum in the 2000-2020MHz and 2180-2200MHz bands. Since the H Block spectrum abuts Dish’s spectrum, the FCC has put in place limits on power levels to prevent interference with Dish’s spectrum. The spectrum will be licensed, in part, based on economic areas around the country.

The FCC is expected to more formally adopt rules for the auction later this year.

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