NTIA Releases AWS-3 Transition Plans

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The National Telecommunications and Industry Administration (NTIA) has released a series of federal agency transition plans in preparation for the November 13, 2014 advanced wireless service (AWS)-3 auction.  In March 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules governing use of AWS-3 spectrum (1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands).  The FCC, in collaboration with NTIA and the federal agencies, reallocated the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands from federal to non-federal use.  The 2155-2180 MHz band was already allocated for non-federal use.  The agencies’ transition plans include timelines for exiting or sharing the bands with non-federal users.  Most of the incumbent federal systems currently using the 1755-1780 MHz band will relocate out of the band, but the FCC’s rules provide for indefinite sharing with a limited number of federal systems.  The 1755-1780 MHz uplink/mobile band is paired with the 2155-2180 MHz downlink/base station band.  The 1695-1710 MHz band will be available for commercial uplink/mobile operations on an unpaired, shared basis with incumbent federal meteorological-satellite data users.  NTIA estimates total relocation and sharing costs for the 1695-1710 MHz band at $527.1 million and for the 1755-1780 MHz band at $4.576 billion.

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