SBE to Work With Nextel on BAS Transition

November 8, 2004
The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) announced that it will assist local broadcasters and Nextel with the transition to the new 2 GHz broadcast auxiliary service band plan. Although the effective date of the FCC Report and Order outlining the plan for the transition (see RF Report for August 10, 2004) has yet to be established and Nextel has yet to agree to the FCC's proposal, some markets have already requested meetings with Nextel representatives to discuss the transition.

SBE's Short Circuits newsletter said SBE would help organize local market transition committees and meetings between broadcasters and Nextel. To avoid disruption to broadcast ENG operations, the FCC plan provides for transitioning smaller markets to the new band plan when the larger, adjacent market implements the band plan. SBE will cooperate with Nextel to suggest market groupings for the transition and will also help provide information to TV stations to keep them up to date on the transition process and schedule. SBE said it expects the transition to take at least two years after the FCC Report and Order becomes effective.

The chances that Nextel and broadcasters will be able to begin the 2 GHz transition soon improved greatly when Nextel and Verizon Wireless reached an agreement in which both agreed to dismiss their pending lawsuits against each other. Nextel agreed to forgo any trademark and other ownership rights to the phrase "Push-to-Talk" and similar names and Verizon Wireless agreed not to oppose the FCC's decision to realign the 800 MHz band and grant Nextel spectrum in the 1.9 GHz band. Details are available on the Nextel Web site and in the news release Verizon Wireless, Nextel Resolve Legal Disputes.

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