Regulator gives Sprint Nextel 30 days relinquish 800MHz band

23 Jun 2008

US wireless operator Sprint Nextel has been given a further 30 days by the FCC to vacate its spectrum holdings in the 800MHz band. Sprint Nextel is in the throes of moving spectrum used for commercial purposes that can interfere with public-safety communications systems, the regulator said. In an order signed last Friday by the head of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, the operator has been given an additional 30 days to be tacked on to the original 26 June deadline for vacating the spectrum. Sprint acquired the majority of the spectrum when it acquired Nextel in 2004. It is understood the additional 30 days will ‘provide time to consider a petition for relief that Sprint filed on 17 June.’ Sprint Nextel’s efforts to comply with the FCC’s order to vacate the 800MHz band have been mired in difficulty for several months and have put a financial strain on Sprint, which is the third largest US cellular provider by subscribers behind AT&T and Verizon Wireless.