FCC allows AT&T access to unused airwaves for LTE

October 17, 2012
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Today the FCC has just dropped some good news down on the folks at AT&T. We've seen countless spectrum and airwave transfers and purchases as of late, and now AT&T is getting in on even more action after they've been shopping for extra. Earlier this year the FCC allowed them to transfer some spectrum to T-Mobile after the failed merger, and now some unused broadband airwaves are going to get put to use.

According to the Washington Post, today the Federal Communications Commission voted to revise the rules for the spectrum band known as Wireless Communications Services, or WCS. Back in 1997 the FCC auctioned off this spectrum and it has been being used by Sirius XM radio.

Today however a new line has been added allowing AT&T to take part in using these currently "unused" airwaves for their 4G LTE network. Apparently no one has been using these waves because of the potential for interference, but it looks like the FCC and AT&T have changed their minds on that front.

According to the multiple reports coming out today those federal regulators are now going to let AT&T use a portion of the unused airwaves to improve the speed, size, and efficiency of their mobile broadband 4G LTE network. Verizon has a strong lead in the 4G LTE market for now, but AT&T's been making some serious progress. It's interesting to see all these spectrum swaps. As a side note the FCC approved Verizon's purchase of similar spectrum back in August of this year from cable companies, so AT&T isn't the only one getting a boost in network capacity.


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