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Spectrum Task Force Eyes Mobile Satellite Service Bands

The FCC Spectrum Task Force has announced a plan to “unleash additional spectrum for mobile broadband,” by providing up to 90 MHz through accelerating terrestrial use of the mobile satellite service (MSS) band.

You may recall that some of this band came from spectrum that was reallocated from broadcasters' 2 GHz band used for electronic news gathering. The new spectrum would be obtained by removing policies that “are currently barriers to terrestrial deployment in the mobile satellite services band.” This would be done without impacting market-wide MSS capability, which could be critical for emergency services when the terrestrial infrastructure is destroyed or compromised in a hurricane, earthquake, or terrorist attack.

As I've previously reported, MSS operators plan to use an FCC-approved terrestrial component in their rollouts. It appears new rules will make this easier.

“This initiative is an opportunity to make additional spectrum available for mobile broadband by promoting greater spectrum efficiency and flexibility,” said Julius Knapp, co-chair of the task force. “The Spectrum Task Force remains firmly committed to maintaining robust mobile satellite capability that serves important needs like disaster recovery and rural access. I am confident that we can achieve all of these goals and create a win-win solution.”

I agree.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.