FCC Approves Innovative National, Non-Exclusive BWA Licenses For 50 MHz At 3.6 GHz
The FCC unanimously approved today an innovative plan whereby WISPS can register with the FCC for non-exclusive licenses with up to a national footprint for deployment of wireless broadband service in the 3650-3700 MHz band.
Each of the five Commissioners approving the plan praised it as a creative compromise. FCC Chairman Powell said the plan avoided the erroneous assumption that an allocation plan had to be either unlicensed or licensed.
Wireless Bureau Chief John Muleta said that two key differences with license exempt services are that higher power is authorized, and base stations must be registered to enable monitoring of interference. “The rules use a hybrid licensed/unlicensed regulatory model similar to that just adopted for the 70/80 GHz band,” commented WCA License Exempt Alliance Counsel Robert Primosch. “The Commission will issue non-exclusive nationwide licenses that will permit licensees to operate fixed or mobile services anywhere in the country, subject to interference protection requirements vis-à-vis each other, as well as grandfathered Fixed Satellite Service and government communications facilities.
Each licensee will be required to register its base stations so that the Commission can monitor use of the spectrum and licensees can better coordinate with other users of the spectrum.
Licensees will be permitted to use all 50 MHz of the spectrum, and an unlimited number of nationwide licenses will be issued.” The date on which the FCC will begin accepting applications will be announced in a future FCC public notice.