Telecom Business Alert-- Vol.X Issue 33

Date: Aug 12, 2013

FCC Seeks Comment on LightSquared Report

Last week, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a report filed by LightSquared. The report does not address technical matters associated with the company’s proposed terrestrial base stations, but provides an overview of LightSquared’s terrestrial wireless handsets in the 1626.5-1660.5 MHz Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) uplink portion of the L-Band. The report provides technical analyses of the potential interference to GPS devices. LightSquared asserts the report validates the company’s plan for modified deployment of its terrestrial network. A copy of LightSquared’s report is available here. Comments must be filed by September 6, 2013, and Reply Comments are due September 23, 2013. Please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with questions.

–Wes Wright
Attorney, Keller and Heckman LLP

FCC Seeks Comment on 900 MHz Waiver Request

The FCC’s Wireless Bureau released a Public Notice last week seeking comment on a request by Itron to operate automatic meter reading devices and other advanced metering infrastructure on Itron’s 900 MHz paging licenses. Itron’s equipment is used by critical infrastructure entities to support smart grid and other advanced metering infrastructure capabilities. Since Itron claims the Commission’s rules are unclear whether 931 MHz paging licenses may be used for non-paging operations, Itron has asked for a waiver to use them for data services in support of AMR and AMI. However, it is possible that a waiver of the rules is not even necessary in this instance. Comments are due September 9, 2013, and Reply Comments must be filed by September 24, 2013. 

FCC Enforcement Advisory: Unlicensed Operations

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order proposing a fine of more than $200,000 to a company operating unlicensed U-NII devices in the 5 GHz band that allegedly interfered with the FAA’s Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR).  The FAA uses TDWR technology to detect wind shear and other weather conditions near airports.  In February, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposed additional spectrum for unlicensed devices in the 5 GHz band and the elimination of unlimited antenna gain for devices in the 5.725-5.85 GHz band.  The Commission argued that unlimited gain antennas in this band interfered with the TDWR in the nearby 5.60-5.65 GHz band.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4296).

Corporate Counsel Corner: Transactional Pitfalls

Earlier this month, Keller and Heckman LLP Partners David Reader and Greg Kunkle published an article in the Global Legal Post summarizing the FCC’s merger and acquisition review process and reminding companies of the regulatory approvals required for transactions involving FCC-licensed assets. The article reviewed the Commission’s approval process through the lens of competing offers submitted by SoftBank Corp. and DISH Network for wireless carrier Sprint.  Please contact Greg (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178) with questions.

Register Today – Quarterly Webinar on CII Telecom Issues

Keller and Heckman LLP attorneys will host a complimentary webinar on September 25, 2013, to discuss key telecom issues facing the Critical Infrastructure Industries. This webinar is the third in a series addressing current events at the FCC of particular interest to CII companies, including wireless spectrum issues, licensing and enforcement trends, network services, pole attachments and cybersecurity.  

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Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert is a complimentary weekly electronic update created by the Telecommunications and the Business Counseling and Transactional practice groups of Keller and Heckman LLP.

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