FCC grants US Cellular access to extra AWS-3 spectrum

18 Mar 2020

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that its Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has granted Special Temporary Authority (STA) to US Cellular to use additional spectrum to help meet increased customer demand for mobile broadband during the coronavirus pandemic. This STA will allow the company to operate for 60 days using spectrum licensed to Advantage Spectrum in the AWS-3 band; the frequencies cover parts of California, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.

TeleGeography notes that Advantage Spectrum acquired 124 licences in the FCC’s Auction 97 AWS-3 spectrum sale, which concluded on 29 January 2015. The net licence cost for the concessions amounted to USD338.3 million. US Cellular’s wholly owned subsidiary, USCC Wireless Investment, is understood to be a limited partner in Advantage Spectrum.

The ruling follows a similar agreement, which saw T-Mobile US granted an STA to use 600MHz frequencies owned by the likes of DISH Network, Comcast, NewLevel, LB License Co, Channel 51, Omega, Bluewater and TStar License Holdings. These actions build on the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge.