Spectrum Transition Completed in Four More Top 50 Markets

Sprint Nextel announced that the transition of Broadcast Auxiliary Services facilities from the 1990-2025 MHz spectrum band has been successfully completed in the Houston, Phoenix, Orlando and Norfolk, Va. markets.

Including these four top 50 markets, the BAS transition has now been completed for 67 stations in 19 markets covering a population of approximately 25 million people.

“The BAS transition continues to make significant progress,” said Michael Degitz, vice president of spectrum for Sprint. “The pace of the transition is accelerating, thanks to the combined and ongoing efforts of all those involved, including the broadcasters, manufacturers, installers and Sprint.”

“The transition went very smoothly,” said Richard Monn, chief engineer at WESH in Orlando. “We had great communication and cooperation among the stations and there were no surprises. What was supposed to happen did happen.”

The FCC has licensed Sprint to use a portion of the 2 GHz spectrum that broadcasters currently use to send and receive news from the field. Sprint and two satellite companies that also will receive BAS spectrum are responsible for paying for new equipment and reimbursing broadcasters for the costs of moving to their new spectrum.

In March, the FCC granted Sprint Nextel a one-year extension for the transition, to March 2009.

Sprint Nextel outlined other progress in the transition:

  • Other markets that have recently switched to their new spectrum include Tucson, Ariz., Richmond, Va., Gainesville, Fla., and Beaumont, Laredo, and Victoria, Texas.
  • BAS licensees have finalized and received approval of “quote packages” for new equipment for nearly 90 percent of primary facilities to be relocated.
  • More than 77 percent of the necessary frequency relocation agreements for primary BAS facilities are signed.
  • BAS licensees have submitted more than 71 percent of the purchase orders to manufacturers for such facilities.
  • Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of all BAS licensee equipment orders have been fulfilled and 14 percent of BAS licensees have completely installed their equipment.

More information on the 2 GHz transition is available at www.2GHzRelocation.com.