The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revised the country’s rules on the use of the 800MHz band in an attempt to improve data connectivity across the country.
Under the new measures, the FCC will relax restrictions currently in place to allow wireless operators to run LTE services on the band, alongside existing narrowband and public safety deployments.
Reforms include changing technical rules around power usage, enabling the coexistence of commercial wireless and public safety networks, and eliminating regulations the FCC deems “unnecessary”. Rules set to be axed relate to application filings, domestic and international coordination, and comparative renewal.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai (pictured) said: “The Commission’s cellular rules were adopted when commercial mobile service relied on narrowband technologies. Over three and a half decades later, these rules (and the technical assumptions that underlay them) are hopelessly obsolete.
“This state of affairs changes today. The reforms we are adopting will help wireless companies better meet consumer demand for mobile connectivity and continue to innovate by facilitating the use of cellular spectrum to provide advanced services such as LTE.”
FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly added: “By simply modifying the cellular power rules to also include workable power metrics for wideband technologies, we provide companies the flexibility to deploy the technology of their choosing. In permitting LTE on this band, we are, in effect, improving spectrum efficiency and facilitating mobile broadband deployment.”
Its spectrum reforms were announced at the FCC’s latest open meeting. It also discussed a range of measures set to be investigated and introduced by the Commission, including channel sharing for broadcasters and rules around automated nuisance phone calls.