Sprint Nextel seeks license update for rebanding
Sprint Nextel this week asked the FCC to update its spectrum licenses to complete channel swaps with NPSPAC licensees in several areas of the country as part of the 800 MHz rebanding process.
In its filing, Sprint Nextel requested that the FCC reissue its licenses to allow the wireless carrier to operate in the 821-824/866-869 MHz band in the New England, Minnesota, Northern California, Florida and metro Chicago NPSPAC regions.
The request is “mostly an administrative thing,” Sprint Nextel spokesman Scott Sloat said.
“That’s essentially what it’s all about, asking the FCC to update our license so we can operate on the old NPSPAC band channels,” Sloat said during an interview with MRT. “In a lot of these places, people have already left, and we need to have our licenses updated so we can operate there. We’ll notify the licensees that we’re doing that as it happens.”
Meanwhile, Sloat said Sprint Nextel has not made any announcements regarding its plans for dealing with the impact on the carrier should it have to abandon its 800 MHz interleaved channels by June 26—an FCC ruling last fall that requires the shift recently was upheld by a federal appeals court. While Sprint Nextel has sought waivers to continue operating on the Channels 1-120 spectrum until public-safety entities are ready to swap frequencies, it has not taken any similar action regarding the interleaved channels, he said.
Without access to the interleaved spectrum, Sprint Nextel has acknowledged that it could lack the spectral capacity in some areas to maintain service levels for its iDEN network customers. The carrier is still evaluating the situation in different markets, Sloat said.
“Keep in mind that the impact will vary based on a number of factors, including the progress of rebanding in that particular market, customer usage in that particular market and whether we get the 1-120 waivers,” he said. “So there are a number of factors that weigh into what the impact will be in a particular market.”