Genachowski Plugs Spectrum Sharing at CTIA Convention


FCC chairman Juliu Genachowski put in a plug Tuesday for the government sharing the 1755-1780 MHz band with advanced wireless service, including freeing up 25 MHz ASAP that can be paired with existing spectrum already up for auction.

That sharing proposal could mean a relocation of broadcast and cable ENG users who were already transitioned out of their former spectrum digs as part of the DTV transition.

"We are moving ahead in partnership with NTIA to test LTE sharing in the 1755-1780 MHz LTE band, which could allow us to auction paired spectrum in the next three years," he told CTIA: The Wireless Association at its convention in New Orleans Tuesday, according to a copy of his speech.

"Given the huge amount of money and time it would take to move all of the federal systems," he said, "estimated at $18 billion over at least a decade -- sharing is the most promising way forward before deadlines in the Spectrum Act will compel us to auction the 2155-2180 band unpaired."

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration has identified 95 MHz for spectrum that could be freed up by moving or sharing, but FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski doesn't want the 25MHZ of that band that could be immediately paired with existing spectrum to be held up in a longer-range effort to free up all 95 MHz.

NTIA has said that it can put a priority on that 25 MHz, a point assistant secretary Lawrence Strickling made again Tuesday in the wake of the chairman's remarks about their joint spectrum-freeing effort.

"NTIA is committed to President Obama's ambitious goal to nearly double the amount of commercial spectrum available this decade," he said. "We look forward to working with the FCC to explore spectrum sharing opportunities in the 1755-1850 MHz band. In collaboration with federal agencies and the wireless industry, NTIA and the FCC will work to identify sharing solutions that can enable spectrum to be put to commercial use more quickly and in a more cost-efficient manner than attempting to move all federal operations from the band."