Additional Recent Developments
1. Developments Regarding the 2095-2110 MHz Band
20. CTIA's Request to Auction 2095-2110 MHz. As discussed above, the Spectrum Act requires the Commission to identify 15 megahertz of contiguous spectrum for commercial use. On March 13, 2013, CTIA--The Wireless Association (CTIA) urged the Commission to designate spectrum currently used for Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) at 2095-2110 MHz as the fifteen megahertz of contiguous spectrum required to be identified by the Commission under the Spectrum Act. CTIA argues that the 2095-2110 MHz band is ideal for this purpose because it is a contiguous band with propagation characteristics ideally suited to mobile broadband and adjacent to current mobile broadband spectrum. These characteristics make it suitable for modern mobile broadband technologies, such as the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard. CTIA states that the 2095-2110 MHz band can be paired with the 1695-1710 MHz band that NTIA identified for reallocation under the Spectrum Act and is likely to generate significant revenues through a competitive bidding process. CTIA acknowledges that BAS currently uses the 2095-2110 MHz band and that, in addition to hosting BAS, the larger 2025-2110 MHz band is also home to the Federal space operation service, the earth exploration-satellite service, and the space research service. CTIA notes that the Commission requires coordination between Federal and non-Federal users of the 2095-2110 MHz band and that terrestrial transmitters used for BAS not be high-density systems. CTIA avers that issues between Federal and non-Federal users can be addressed by band clearing, sharing, and rule changes.
21. Federal and non-Federal Opposition to Commercial Wireless in 2095-2110 MHz. On July 22, 2013, NTIA transmitted to the Commission a Feasibility Assessment for accommodation of mobile broadband Long Term Evolution (LTE) systems in the 2025-2110 MHz band prepared by NASA and recently submitted by the United States to I International Telecommunications Union--Radio Telecommunications Sector Joint Task Group 4-5-6-7. NTIA states that, recognizing the interest in the potential for use of the band for wireless broadband, NASA performed a compatibility study examining the potential for commercial broadband systems employing LTE technology on a shared basis with forward link transmissions from NASA geostationary Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) satellites to some typical satellite users, which are in Low Earth Orbit. NTIA states that the results of the study show that high-density terrestrial base stations or user equipment operating co-frequency in the 2025-2110 MHz band will exceed established protection criteria for the TDRSS spaceborne receivers by an average of 16.4dB to 40.7 dB and that analysis of sharing with satellite systems of other administrations will likely show similar results. As requested by NTIA, we are adding this assessment to the record of this proceeding and seeking comment on it. The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has also expressed opposition. SBE states that allowing commercial use of 2095-2110 MHz, as CTIA suggests, would delete two of seven shared channels used heavily for BAS, LTTS, and CARS. According to SBE, "there is simply not enough residual spectrum available between 2025 MHz and 2095 MHz to permit [Electronic News Gathering] to continue." SBE opines that other sources of fifteen megahertz of contiguous spectrum should be studied such as portions of the 2360-2390 MHz band.