While considerable attention in the 800 MHz community has been given to Sprint Nextel’s request last month for an additional eight months to reconfigure the band, affected operators need to remain focus on the Transition Administrator’s (TA’s) existing three-year schedule, a top TA official said today.

Although the FCC is taking the Sprint Nextel request for more time “very seriously,” the FCC is not obligated to respond to the carrier’s letter, TA Deputy Program Manager Brett Haan said.

“We’d like to get the message out that the timeline for reconfiguration remains unchanged…until they hear otherwise,” Haan said. “The clock is still ticking for this wave and future waves.”

Under the current TA timetable, the mandatory negotiation period for Wave 1 licensees operating in Channels 1-120 is scheduled to conclude on Dec. 26. Licensees that have not reached a negotiated contract approved with the TA will enter into mediation as part of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) phase on Dec. 27.

At least 50 Channel 1-120 licensees are expected to proceed to ADR. Haan recommended that licensees refer to the TA’s ADR plan at www.800ta.org/content/PDF/policy/ADRPlan.pdf to prepare for the process.