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DISH urges FCC not to shift satellite spectrum holdings

30 Aug 2012

US satellite TV provider DISH Network has urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) not to shift its spectrum holdings in the 2GHz band and to approve rules for using satellite spectrum in terrestrial settings, Fierce Wireless reports, citing a regulatory filing. The document, which was published this week, notes that on 24 August Zachary Katz, chief of staff for FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, met with Jeffrey Blum, DISH’s senior vice president and deputy general counsel. At the meeting, DISH warned that a mooted ‘5MHz upward shift at 2000MHz-2020MHz would needlessly inject serious regulatory and technical obstacles’ into the company’s plans to reinvent itself as a Long Term Evolution (LTE) carrier. DISH is currently awaiting final FCC rules on the terrestrial use of Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) spectrum, and is seeking a crucial waiver to offer terrestrial-only devices. However, the firm has indicated it will move ahead with handsets that use the satellite component of the wireless network regardless of the FCC’s actions.

As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate in May, DISH Network has said that it does not expect to be able to launch its proposed LTE-Advanced network using its allocation of 40MHz S-Band spectrum until at least 2016, meaning that its plans fell outside of the FCC’s proposed timeline. Without the waiver, the company remains in LTE limbo. Previously, the FCC approved DISH’s acquisition of S-Band satellite spectrum from bankrupt satellite smartphone operator TerreStar (July 2011) and hybrid satellite and communications company DBSD North America (February 2011).

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