US Cellular seeks FCC permission to stage 3.5GHz trials

31 May 2017

US Cellular has submitted an application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a six-month special temporary authority (STA) to conduct experimental testing in the 3.5GHz band in parts of Maine and North Carolina. According to the application, as discovered by Fierce Wireless, ‘the experimental testing will involve studying the radio propagation characteristics of frequencies in the proposed Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum to help determine the applicability of this spectrum to support various future wireless services’. The specific locations listed in the application are Hendersonville and Candler in North Carolina and Charleston and Skowhegan in Maine. US Cellular seeks to test the 3550MHz-3600MHz frequencies from 26 June to 26 December 2017.

TeleGeography notes that US Cellular joins T-Mobile US in signposting its 3.5GHz ambitions. Last month the latter company requested FCC permission for an ‘experimental licence’ that would cover three sites in Washington, near its Bellevue headquarters. Previously, in April 2015 the FCC voted to add another 100MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band (3550MHz-3700MHz) to the 50MHz in that range already available for commercial use.