The number of 800 MHz licensees that have been approved to receive planning funding has increased dramatically since the Transition Administrator began taking a more active role in the process two months ago, according to numbers released by the TA this week.

Overall, 22 planning-funding agreements have been approved by the TA to date, a TA spokesperson said. By comparison, only a handful of deals were approved prior to the TA deciding early last month to receive applications directly from 800 MHz licensees seeking upfront funding.

Previously, licensees submitted planning-funding requests to Sprint Nextel, which frequently claimed the applications lacked the appropriate amount of detail. Under its new guidelines, the TA receives the applications and only forwards to Sprint Nextel those applications that are deemed to include sufficient detail.

Another component of the revamped guidelines called for the TA to expedite its review process. To that end, the TA has forwarded to Sprint Nextel 37 of the 40 planning-funding requests it has received during the last two months, the TA spokesperson said.