CNET reports that a group of US regional carriers have submitted a joint filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) arguing that AT&T is using interference issues as an excuse not to build a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network that will interoperate with their own 4G infrastructure. In a move that effectively calls AT&T’s bluff, the regional operators – Cavalier Wireless, C Spire Wireless, Continuum 700, King Street Wireless, MetroPCS Communications, U.S. Cellular, and Vulcan Wireless – on Tuesday filed a report detailing the results of their tests on the subject. They claim the findings show clear evidence that there are no interference issues between devices operating in the lower bands of the 700MHz spectrum or the TV broadcast channel 51, both of which are close to the lower A block spectrum of the 700MHz frequency band.
AT&T has put in place its own distinct and separate ‘band class’ for 4G LTE devices that would not interoperate with the services deployed by regional carrier in other parts of the 700MHz band; the frequencies were acquired in the FCC’s auction in 2008. AT&T claims that it created the new band class to eliminate interference issues with adjacent broadcast TV spectrum, but the regional carriers’ report dismisses these fears as unfounded.