WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission is close to approving a swath of the satellite airwaves controlled by Dish Network for use solely on a ground-based cellphone network, FCC officials say.
But Dish chairman Charlie Ergen isn't likely to be happy. That is because the FCC is also seriously considering requiring Ergen to set aside a slice of his airwaves, or spectrum, as a barrier to protect against interference on a neighboring spectrum band, the officials say. Ergen said Thursday that such a move "would be a game-changer for us," making his bet to enter the wireless industry "increasingly risky."
For months, Sprint Nextel has been lobbying the FCC to make technical changes on Dish's spectrum holdings to reduce the possibility of interference with the adjacent spectrum block, which Sprint has said it wants to buy. Dish has been arguing that the changes advocated by Sprint aren't necessary, since the block could still be used at low power. But the FCC wants to sell that block for the highest value possible, which would come from a full-powered use, the officials said.
Ergen called changes sought by Sprint "draconian" and said they would reduce the capability of Dish's "uplink" spectrum — which handles the pathway from the cellphone to the tower — by 25 percent. An additional 25 percent on top of that would be impaired because of interference, he said, endangering Dish's ability to compete in the wireless space against incumbents such as AT&T and Verizon Communications' wireless affiliate, which own much larger swaths of spectrum.
A Sprint spokesman said the company endorses Dish's plans, "provided the FCC protects our existing holdings and continues with its plans to auction the adjacent spectrum."
Just what I thought would happen: This gets down to being that Sprint's request for DISH to move up the part of the S-Band adjoining the current guard band of AWS in order to from AWS-4 makes a lot of sense from the overall perspective of best use. It also makes sense in that Ergen's DISH and DTV have been 'gifted' with the ability to use what was formerly allocated as satellite spectrum as the more prized terrestrial spectrum. What the heck is Ergen complaining about.. DISH gets to compete for mobile/ICT broadband including video delivery which makes the spectrum he acquired several times more valuable in the long run, if the guy can figure out how to use it effectively that it.
This almost assures Sprint-SB will get the additional spectrum to pair with their current AWS to form 10x10 FDD channels... yes, FDD fools... because that is the way its easiest to allocate. The name of the game is: "Advocate for TDD (because its the better technical choice) but accept the world as it is in the meantime." Even the techno giants cannot presto-chango the world in which they must operate. The fact of the matter is that over the course of the next 10-15 years the differences between TDD and FDD will not matter a bit.. because adaptive modulation and spectrum access methods will have evolved to make it irrelevant. Networks will hardly be considered for how spectrum is accessed because the advances in integration of multiple radios, multi-channel and CoMP type methods will make this distinction obsolete. In the meantime, the difference between TDD and FDD is like the bigendien vs smallendien arguments Clearlywired played with in forming their 4+ billion debt dependency on Sprint... behind the times.
As expected, it looks like the FCC will approve the satellite spectrum holders grant of use for LTE networks while giving (selling to) Sprint-SB a more competitive position in AWS spectrum.
Wowsie, wow wow!... but spectrum is always just one part of the story. SB-Sprint, Clearwire, DISH T-Mobile.. any operator builds upon a set of skills and assets that include marketshare. DISH has some marketshare and organization but not in the mobile space which is why they want to partner with Sprint or T-Mobile and not Clearlywired.