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Wireless 20|20 Blog

It is time for bidders to start gearing up for the 600 MHz band incentive auction. This could be the last time a large block of valuable low-band spectrum will be up for sale in the foreseeable future. The Federal Communications Commission recently announced the schedule for the Broadcast Incentive Auction 1001. The deadline for broadcasters to file their initial Form 177 applications expressing their intent to participate in the reverse auction is Jan. 12. Each participating broadcaster that has completed an application must commit to whether it wants to sell all of its spectrum, engage in channel sharing or move to a lower channel or from a UHF to a VHF channel.

Small cell and distributed antenna system networks have become important and fast growing complements to deploying new spectrum and adding additional macro towers as U.S. mobile operators are focused on densifying their networks in urban areas. Small cells are becoming more common as an attractive option to increase capacity and extend coverage outdoors, and distributed network solutions are becoming increasingly popular for enterprise buildings and high-traffic indoor venues. Although these markets are in their infancy, they are poised for rapid growth.

Over the last few years, there has been much discussion about major mobile network operators (MNOs) using Carrier Wi-Fi as a tool in their arsenal to provide broadband capacity to their customers. And yet we have seen very few actual agreements between Wi-Fi service providers and MNOs to augment the operator’s current capacity with third party Wi-Fi capacity. The need is there for additional wireless broadband capacity, and the need will continue to intensify. There are a number of operators that are building extensive Wi-Fi networks in the US, in part in anticipation that the MNOs will buy some of their capacity.

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