Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. IX Issue 23

Date: Jun 04, 2012

FCC Advisory Board Publishes Recommended 700 MHz Technical Requirements

Last week, the FCC's Technical Advisory Board issued Recommended Minimum Technical Requirements for the Public Safety Broadband Network at 700 MHz. The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 tasked the Board with developing technical requirements and basic interoperability standards for the Network. The Board recommended that FirstNet – a newly-created entity within NTIA overseeing the construction and operation of the Network – adopt LTE technology for the Network so first responders can benefit from future advances in commercial wireless communications technology, security and network infrastructure. The Board also recommended that any sharing agreement entered into by FirstNet should implement a network sharing arrangement that does not impact public safety operations. The FCC is required to adopt technical standards by June 22. Please contact Greg Kunkle (202.434.4178; kunkle@khlaw.com) with questions.

Federal Government Investigates Spectrum Sharing

Last week, NTIA requested that the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee ("CSMAC") focus on facilitating sharing of the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1850 MHz bands between commercial and federal users. In response to this request, CSMAC created five working groups to determine how commercial carriers may be able to share spectrum with incumbent federal users, including (i) meteorological satellite systems (1695-1710 MHz), (ii) law enforcement surveillance, (iii) satellite control and electronic warfare, (iv) tactical radio relay and fixed microwave, and (v) airborne operations (1755-1850 MHz). NTIA Associate Administrator Karl Nebbia predicted that the meteorological satellite system sharing could be completed as early as January and the biggest challenge likely will be sharing with airborne operations. 

Sprint Nextel to Shut Down iDEN Service by June 30, 2013

Last week, the FCC released a Report and Order allowing channels larger than 25 kHz to operate in the enhanced specialized mobile radio (ESMR) portion of the 800 MHz band (813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz). Sprint Nextel holds a significant portion of the ESMR spectrum nationwide and historically used it to support the Nextel iDEN push-to-talk service. Following the Report and Order, Sprint Nextel announced that it will discontinue its iDEN service by June 30, 2013, and will redeploy the ESMR spectrum and parts of the iDEN infrastructure for CDMA and LTE services. Please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; jarrett@khlaw.com) with questions.

FCC Seeks Comment on Privacy and Security of Consumer Information

On May 25, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on the privacy and data security practices of mobile wireless service providers with respect to customer information stored on mobile devices. The Public Notice follows recent Congressional testimony of AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile explaining that carriers gather customer-specific data from mobile devices to deploy diagnostic software and improve the maintenance and operation of their networks. Comments are due 30 days after the Public Notice is published in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred, and Reply Comments are due 15 days thereafter. The Federal Trade Commission recently held two workshops- one on mobile payments and plans and another on advertising disclosures in the mobile space- and the California Attorney General recently reached an agreement with the major app platform providers on mobile privacy disclosures. Please contact Tracy Marshall (202.434.4234; marshall@khlaw.com) for more information.

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