Small cells will get a band of their own (when the Feds aren’t using it)

16 Sep


The Federal Communications Commission plans to designate 100 MHz of spectrum for small cell use, which would go a long way in encouraging the deployment of a dense layer of mobile broadband capacity for our smartphones to romp around in. But there’s a catch: carriers don’t just get to buy this spectrum and lock it into their networks — they have to share it with the government agencies already occupying it.

The FCC’s plan is part of a larger, and quite controversial, proposal first put forth by the President’s Council of Advisors on Policy and Technology (PCAST) to clear 1000 MHz of airwaves for mobile broadband use. That’s far more than the Obama administration is aiming for in its broadband plan, but PCAST’s recommendations all come with the sharing caveat: instead of booting the feds out of their airwaves, the public and private sectors must find a way to…

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